Main image
19th April
posted by amber

Heaven on Earth

I used to love my sailboat. It took me at least five years to save the money to buy her, and I was ecstatic when I signed the papers and made her mine. I changed her name immediately, from Popsie’s Sloopsie to Heaven on Earth.

Our first trip on her was like a second honeymoon, and I’m pretty sure that both our son and daughter were conceived on board.

Everything about being on the water was exciting to my wife and me then. And everything about each other. Until it suddenly wasn’t, two years ago. Suddenly I was a monster who’d stifled her every opportunity and rained on all her parades. Suddenly I was living on the boat.

Living on a boat. What could be better than being a newly minted bachelor, living on a boat? I convinced myself that my ex-wife had done me a big favour.

But it wasn’t long before the romance of the nautical life was over. Used to be that the rhythm of my boat on the water was the most soothing thing I could imagine. I always slept like a baby on board, but now I feel slightly queasy all the time. Everything is harder – cooking is harder, you have less room to store things and I keep banging my head because everything’s too low in there. Doing laundry, taking out the garbage – those are trips to other buildings. Yeah, I have no yard to worry about now, but instead I have barnacles, rust, seagull poop.

And the kids hate to visit. They say it’s too cramped in their bunks; they complain about the lack of TV and other electronics since I had the trouble with the wiring due to the infernal dampness.

Lately, we’ve been staying at motels on my weekends with them.

And if I can convince a girlfriend to spend the night with me, I usually spring for a fancy hotel. They might say they think the boat is sexy, but I can’t believe they aren’t put off by the musty stink, the fraying ropes, the chipped paint, the minuscule mildewed bathroom.

I lie in my berth the nights when I’m alone on the boat, listening to the water lapping against the sides and it seems that the thinnest of walls stand between me and descent to the dark, cold, bottomless depths.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

Leave a Reply