It’d been listing for a couple of weeks. The bad weather did not blow over. Calm maybe for a day or two together then thrown back into storm: repeat. She would lurch from side to side all night; a sheer hell to live through. No sleep, and vomiting. I was losing weight and strength but clung onto the deck for all I was worth.
The night before in stolen half-sleep I dreamt a bird circling above a small island. It landed and I watched as it picked at my corpse. At the time, it’s easy to brush aside beastly visions like this, thinking them to no more than being a small part of the daily horror. But the unconscious doesn’t abide by linear time, it imagines infinite futures and pasts that were never lived. Occasionally it shows the near and unavoidable future.
Last night it finally sunk. Despite spending most of my life on the sea I have never been a good swimmer. I drowned quickly and was surprised to find how little it hurt. Perhaps the climax of torment but also the end.
And it’s okay, I’ve died before and lived through it.