Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2019 @ 4:26 pm
A light rain falls and the air is thick with warm humidity. Sweat trickles down my back inside my wetsuit. We stand in the boatyard and pair up to rig the sails of larger boats.
I turn and join a tall man, the man with the French accent and an easy leaning posture.
“I’m Bernard,” he says.
He does most of the rigging. He pushes the boat on the dolly down to the water. I silently watch as he takes the ropes from my hands, unimpressed.
Out on the water, I am in the captain’s position. I am guiding the boat in the non-existent wind, the current moving us more than the sail.
He reaches over and takes the tiller from my hand to correct something that he deems to be wrong. This triggers a mild flood within me, which I quickly discard. I know this is not about me - this is his shit and I’m not interested in a fight. I pass him the mainsheet and tell him to be the captain. I laze at the front of the boat and take care of the jib and hold my hand out to collect the large and warm raindrops.
He asks a little about me, and I see his eyes go wide when he learns that I mountain bike, ski, and hike. He leans in towards me and smiles, and I edge further away towards the bow of the boat.
You are not for me. You assume that you need to do things for me. You assume that I need help. You did not allow me to learn for myself. You need to be in control. You are not for me.
I cycle home in the rain with bare arms. Russell invites me over and offers his leftover take-out. He rubs my back and asks about my day and serves me a bowl of hot soup.
I stay the night.
I wake up in the morning in his arms.
“Good morning,” he says.
It takes everything within me to not respond with I love you.