Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sittin' on my Boat in the Bay

A dramatic monologue, this is my window into the often lonely and dangerous lives lead by people who do not, for whatever reasons, find a secure place in our society. Having lived on board my own boat at anchor in the winter it was not hard to picture this situation or for that matter to reach for the extremes of my own character to fit this anonymous boat person, 'hanging on 'til morning's light'.
In reality, he is a part of all of us, a background anxiety we try to ignore. How close we are, a pay cheque or two maybe, from loosing our place on the economic ladder and ending up, rejected, confused and defiant, on the street or on the beach.

         Sittin' on my Boat in the Bay

Sittin' here resting my bones
and this loneliness won't leave me alone.
(Sittin' on)'The dock of the Bay.' Otis Redding

A cold Nor'-Wester is screamin' tonight,
Got my fore-hatch duct-taped down tight.
The wood stove is warm, but I'm still damp and cold.
I pray my anchor holds 'til morning's light.

My dear old boat, I got you for a dollar,
Found a cheap foam mattress, cooking stuff.
Free as a bird from paying rent.
You may roll and buck, but you are all I got.

Out in the bay, in spray-filled fear,
dream boats like mine are barely clear
Of one final steep dive, or broke on the beach
Where I would drift and be lucky to reach.

In the summer this is an ideal life,
Jigging for fish in a throwaway skiff,
beach-combing along the shore.
No working for a living, no responsibility.

Had a dog for company, drowned last week.
Fell overboard, couldn't fish him out.
Its a tough old life out here on the bay,
Survival of the fittest, no place for the weak.

Others living this rough life on the sea,
They ain't no friends. You'd think so, eh?
No thievin', from each other,
Parties on shore, that kind a ting?

For my freedom I left my life on the land,
Used to sell cars, life insurance, anything.
Now in winter winds I'm stuck all day long,
Sittin' on my boat in the bay.

Shore folks say get a job, join up again,
I bin there ya see, you don' fool me.
A mug's game: warm house, car,
Wife and kids. Bound hand and foot!

I'm a lone wolf and proud to be one,
Ain't got nothin' to tie me but my boat.
If this storm keeps up I won't have that,
But then, without my life, I won't need one.