“What people forget, you see, is that it’s a world.” Said Captain Reed between mouthfuls of strawberry shortcake.
Everyone was silent. I sipped my coffee and wondered what he was getting at.
“Everybody…thinks…they ‘know’…so they get sad…because they ‘know’…and so they’re bored…” The captain’s massive brow furrowed.
It would have been frightening had he not started laughing.
“What the hell is there to know? How is there anything to know…that’s a much better question I think yeah?”
Us newcomers sat bewildered as the crew nodded assent. Making me wonder if it was agreement or appeasement…or both.
A massive fist smacked the table making the china jump. I winced as scalding coffee landed right on that little space between the thumb and index finger.
“A perfect little sphere…just spinning…round a nuclear reaction…how why…a thought that rarely enters the mind of man these days…”
No one dared to interrupt the monologue.
“It’s a wuuuuuh eeeerrrrrrrrr eld!” The grey eyes bulged. “A world …whirl…whirling and tumbling between twisted stars in a pitch darker than any ocean depth.”
I wasn’t really sure how the conversation started. What was the origin of this tirade? I really had trouble remembering. I was so sleepy. I’d lost my sea legs nearly half a decade ago and the swaying of the craft produced a slightly nauseating soporific sensation.
“I tell you! If I were to grab that kneck of yours and sueeeeeze. I mean not even very hard….that’s it…! That would be all for you. No shortcake…no Genevive…no childhood to color the years that would have come with wisdom…just flesh with fresh shit in the britches. Isn’t it amazing…isn’t it downright uncanny?”
This would have been offputting had we not by now grown accustomed to the Captain’s moody homilies.
“And yet…you wear britches! Why! Because Adam was embarrassed all those years ago… Most likely not. But….even so…how much the better! Because…you can wonder at it…the folly of such literalism…isn’t it mad…isn’t it whirling..?”
I now recalled why Reed had erupted. Chuck had casually blurted one of his usual sarcasms. Leo had been chattering excitedly about the revolutionary nature of recent discoveries in the Amazon. Chuck loved to exercise his capacity for acerbic skepticism regarding all things redolent of woo. Especially revolutionary woo.
The Captain smirked.
“Looking a bit pale there Charles…”
Chuck remained silent.
“I’m telling you..I’m telling you the truth…I’m infinitely tamer than what lies beneath the salty sway…if these simple truths I’ve spoken have drained you…I tell ya…you’re about to be downright bleached…
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer
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