The 32-foot Catalina bobs atop the water like a red and white fishing lure. Distance increases scope while reducing size.
I imagine the boat as the upper portion of an illustrated graphic intended to help children visualize the relative size of an iceberg. To reveal how massive the iceberg when you peek beneath the surface. How huge the part you can’t see.
Low hums, atonal underwater sounds. And that boat linked to an invisible object below. As if by a thread.
The jetty rocks heat up but I can’t abandon the boat, the family in its berth, the mother cooking hot dogs on the swaying gas stove, the kids in their orange life jackets tossing bread into the waves, watching things sink. There is a plop made upon contact—a splash when pebble hits the water’s surface—but no sound which conveys an object sinking. No sound comes to mind.
The man at the helm cranes his neck to see around the mast. An ill-tempered jib flaps back and forth furiously, the mainsail helter-skelter, indecisive, he tries to manage the tack alone. And there is an instant when little heads swivel to follow the porpoise, pre-storm waves batting the boat left and right, as the captain loses his balance. As the daddy’s feet lift from lost bearing. As the father launches from the white platform like an acrobat. As the shock and surprise of curves and elbow angles glittering upwards, the waves and the waves and the waves churning soundless rumble.
I know where he is. The knowing pummels me. The life-vested children screaming his name into the wind; the mother’s bandana a buoyant red blare, a horn begging for a response from somewhere. Screams never see what happened.
I know where he is. The waves licking my toes, bitty kitten tongues. And what I can see from here, from this shore is the line which links our Captain to what is left. A merciless graphic.