A man stands on the deck of our lifeboat, watching as I toss books into the sea

on

He watches while I toss each item over the side. Only one of the wooden
books stays in our lifeboat. His. What is this man to me? He’s a mystery that
is quickly unraveling.

The storm grows more intense, forcing our lifeboat to begin to capsize.

The water is only a few inches above our feet when we’re thrown on the
bottom of the lifeboat. I look around the deck of our lifeboat. All around
lies the ocean.

The salty ocean air feels good on my face. The last thing I want in life is
to live in a city. No matter what they say, a life in the city is a life in
fear. The streets, the people, the noise. I might as well live with the
beach.

I stand up from the lifeboat to see a tall figure standing in the doorway
of his cabin. He’s naked. Like us.

He holds his hand out to me, offering me a handshake.

I return the handshake, feeling grateful for his offer. A hand extended
towards me, out of this cold, salty, sea. And I’m grateful for his offer, but
I turn away from his touch.

I’m grateful for nothing now, just for his.

The lifeboat is nearly submerged. Our captain watches from the deck of the
lifeboat, seemingly oblivious to the storm outside.

Our captain is a man of few words. One word that would be said for his help
would be: thank you. For some reason, I don’t want the gratitude to come from
me. He was a man of few words.

I’m grateful for a life in the sea. A life that will never come to an end,
just like his, and will slowly, slowly, slowly return to me.

This is just a few of the words I’m thankful for. Life is never as simple as
I think, but the most amazing thing about it is how short and precious life
is.

I once read an essay about how to live in the city by saying you have to get
tucked in and wrapped up, and what that means is living life with a small
core that never changes and a bigger core that allows your core to change in
the smallest of moves. You have to take a small core, change it slightly,
and then release all the pressure with the big core back inside your head.
I’ve always appreciated the idea.

And so, on this cold, salty night, I’m grateful to the ocean for its
breathing, for the waves that push us back and forth, for the darkness that
makes the world go on, and for this man who has offered me his hands, a hand
offered towards me, offered his thoughts, offered his life, and in return,
offered me his life that he wanted me to have.

I’m grateful that in the lifeboat, we’re still alive. I’m grateful that the
weather is getting worse. I’m grateful that our captain has been saved. I’m
grateful that we’re alive.

I’m grateful for every person inside of me. I’m grateful for my life. That
the storms never claim me. I’m grateful for what we’re fighting for, because
it’s not over yet. That we’re alive. That we’re still fighting.

I’m grateful to the man who saved us. I’m grateful for the life that I’ve
lived.

And I’m grateful for each word.

And now, to end this part of this story, a poem.

I met a man who was different from me, and I loved him in a different way.
In one moment, he taught me and taught me how to love. It was like he loved me.
Love has its own strange way of showing itself in different ways.

In the moment, I was lost. There was no reason for me to love this man.
I didn’t love him. I didn’t want to love him. He didn’t love me. I
wasn’t sure who I was. There was no reason for him to love me.

But, after spending a week with this man, in our second meeting, I was
completely different. In fact, I was completely different. I understood it and
I had realized that I understood love. It was just another story in my mind.

When we became friends, I understood. I realized that I was lucky. And I was
stunned.

Our second meeting, we were together for two weeks. It was like we had
met once before. He was different from me. He was everything that was
different. I felt something that hadn’t been felt in a long time. We were
together. We were happy but the memory of what we had together didn’t
come back to me.

On the day we were going to meet, I had walked around for an hour with my
girlfriend. We were standing under a tree, talking, and looking at the sea.
Suddenly, I realized I had forgotten my bag. I was standing next to my bag,
not caring what I was supposed to say. I walked towards her and put my hand
on her arm.

She grabbed my arm and pulled me to the side. She looked me in the eyes.
She looked into my eyes. And then she said to me, “You need to be
with him.”

For a moment, I was in a tunnel. There was a light at the end. Then there
was darkness.

I’m not sure what happened after that. I’m not sure.

But, I walked back to the man who was different from me and I was happy.
I was happy because I had made my point. I had spoken my mind. I had
spoken my mind to my girl.

The point behind us is a point behind me.

It’s time to be with someone different than me.

It’s time to let go.

I’m grateful for that moment.

I’m grateful to be in a lifeboat with an amazing, crazy man who has saved
me. I’m grateful for what we fight for. I’m grateful that we are still
alive.

I’m grateful for this life.

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