Monday, January 17, 2011

My Big Girl
By Michael

Not quite 700 pounds of paper...
Windy returned from Puerto Vallarta with 700 pounds of paper in her suitcase. Del Viento's previous owners (Dream Catcher) saved and left aboard every manual, receipt, log, note, and more --including paperwork from the owner before them (Texas Swan) and the owner before them (Second Wind).
Hundreds of pages stuffed into cracked vinyl notebooks and expandable folios filled to bursting, rubber bands stiff and brittle. I spread everything out across the dining room table, and then across the dining room, reading and sorting and making piles. I am grateful for all of it, her history.
Each page bears the marks of time, many stained with the rusted imprint of a paperclip or staple long deteriorated, all with the lovely old-boat smell of saltwater and diesel. My associations with these things are exotic, juxtaposed against our pedestrian urban lives.

Oh saltwater and diesel, how tantalizing--intoxicating!--this long-ago-familiar scent. My pulse quickens.
I hold each page close, trembling, and breath in deeply...and smelling the clothes of an absent lover. Even though our pre-purchase Mexico interlude was short, my memory of her remains clear. I look at her picture daily, admiring her sheer, her overhang beckoning. Holding her paperwork is a reminder that we'll soon be together, reunited.

Oh, my heart is heavy for my 27,000-pound girl.


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