Creative nonfiction from Brian Barbeito

Small boat with a small wake on light blue water.
The Sea is Too Vast My Friend

The passengers gather atop the ship before it leaves the harbour. It’s a ‘thing.’ Other ships are around and I can see right away that there is competition among ship builders to construct the largest one. How something can be over fourteen stories tall and float and manoeuvre confidently I do not know. Each vessel has to wait until the one scheduled to leave before it sails from the harbour. And when arriving somewhere, it is strange to learn that no ship’s captain is allowed to drive, for some kind of insurance and international law purposes, but that a small boat drives out to the giant ship, a boat that holds a person who shall enter and take the ship to dock. But the sea. What of the sea? I am sure that nothing much changes with the sea-goers through the decades other than fashions, styles, the latest talk about the world and their worlds that seems significant at the time but is prosaic in reality. The sea is the thing, no? At night I watch it through a window stationed behind where we are sitting. I cease to hear the conversations then and notice another ship in the distance going the other way. It is large but appears small upon the vast and seemingly infinite sea. I wonder for a second if they look upon us as some of us look upon them. And if so, what do they think? And do sirens or mermaids, ghosts of sailors, or even monsters, live in and about the sea? Though it sounds silly, looking at its space and thinking of its depth then, I just don’t know. I feel fragile, like a skeleton barely put together. Do you ever feel such as that? The sea throws one back upon oneself, or rather can, sometimes. It is like a person that you and I shall never fully know. It is so vast, in fact too vast, my friend. 

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