Our revelry was short lived that day. Bright and early on Monday morning the fleet we travelled with had cornered a lone pirate ship. Whether the ship was sailing blindly through the early morning hours or simply did not see the four British man-o-wars was a mystery, but sure enough, the lookouts spotted him sailing in our direction. The HMS Falcon and Spirit were slightly ahead of the pirates and so cut off their escape to the west and north. While the Countess of Scarborough, our escort ship, swung around and cut off the southern escape. Now only the Chelsea stood in the way. The pirates headed straight for us, we who were the smallest in the fleet.
Jim had already shown us how to beat to quarters and the five of us stood on the quarterdeck with Captain Anderson while the rest of our company headed to the tops with their weapons. Michael and Chris were sent up as well to do the reloading of rifles for the men, since there was really no need for flag bearers on one of His Majesty's ships.
I watched the ship crawl closer and closer, men scurried over the decks in total chaos, then, not two ship-lengths away it turned to the starboard and gave us a broadside. The crack of cannons was deafening, but we were still facing straight at them and so escaped serious injury. One or two cannon balls ripped through the foresail and the rest plummeted harmlessly into the water behind us. We were now only one ship-length from the pirates and I could see their individual faces. Captain Anderson ordered the helmsman to turn to starboard as well and told the men to prepare for our reply. Six cannons on either side lined the main deck of the Chelsea, 18-pounders, and six on the lower deck as well. Twelve guns on the port side now faced the enemy.
"port guns! Broadside them! Fire!" shouted the Captain. The kickback was tremendous and the ship rolled backwards farther than ever. Splinters flew from the pirates ship , three neat holes appeared in the side, one near the water line, and another three raked across the main deck. Screams of pain rose from the enemy. Our momentum brought us within fifty feet of the pirates, and it seemed as though they had been subdued, until one particularly large man stood up and aimed a fat musket at the quarterdeck.
"Blunderbuss!" Captain Anderson yelled and ducked the head of his first mate and his own. I tackled Jim and Matty just as the shot barked out and over our heads. Alex and Nicholas made it down themselves just in time as well. I noticed the first mate, Thomas Merry, had dropped a pistol. Reaching over I picked it up and swung my arm over the rail, the hammer cocked back and I aimed at the foolish pirate who stayed standing to reload the grapeshot into his gun. I pulled the trigger and the unfortunate man fell with the lead in his shoulder.
When I ducked back down the First Mate was staring at me and smiling. "Practising in your off hours, lad?"
"I was aiming for his head, Sir." I lied and tossed the pistol back. Jim looked at me and whispered a stunned thank you and I ruffled his hair and pulled him and Matty to their feet.
"Prepare to broadside again!&qu
On the third floor of the courthouse is an empty reception desk and several chairs, all filled, a girl of college age studying medical terminology, two old women making the polite and tense conversation that bespeaks the hope that other people can make time and service pass more quickly, a man of somewhere around sixty reading a TIME magazine with the President on the cover, a boy in thick black glasses with a moleskine notebook and a suit-jacket covering his untucked flannel shirt, his stonewashed jeans, his well-kept loafers, his hair a dark and mussed mat over his skull, a woman speaking, loud, barking, commanding into her phone that the price of something be higher, that a deal should be negotiated, the tapping of all of our toes on linoleum and the hot and atmospheric breathing of sighs that concentrate at the center of the room on a man, at the desk, his hands palms down on the counter, no line for him to lead, swaying from foot to foot, weight shifting, a denim jacket and sneakers, the hair on his knuckles covered in sweat, like ours and like mine, slapping the countertop exhaling, harsh and audible, punctuated and deliberate, not wistful but pointed, his distended lips and the tips of his teeth to try and tempt some progress towards him. We follow the doors as they open and the clerks come out. We step in line quick and ordered with our summons in hands outstretched, our numbers memorized, our birthdate and our names set to priority recall, our license plate numbers, the makes and models of our cars. A man near the back of the line watches the windows and watches himself, watching the line diminish segment by segment and then the floor, chin downwards. The chat and the conversation continue, louder, less tense with action, movement gracing their discussions, spontaneous warmth - warmth and interest - the opening of personalities and the exploits of sons and daughters, the studies and the sacrifices, this morning of their judicial participation, this usurping of their routine and conquest of patterns and daylight, this moment that they’re missing, what they’re wrenched away from, this patient and that student, their line of work, harrowing peril, loss of leisure, the sweat beading at the top of their spines and wiped off their foreheads. They call off numbers and names and send us to the courtroom. Our voices echo. The walls of the room are high, ornate designs on the ceiling and the walls, the wood of the banister dividing the court from its audience pristine, sanded down to marble smoothness. The chairs are all that same wood, all ordered and perfect. They do not creak or bark with the clash of their joints. There are the two tables with glass tops, water glasses, judge and witness stand, podiums, televisions, demonstrative chalkboards and diagrams, projectors, at the center an empty space and to the right the chairs, twenty-four in total, the impending place of imminent judgment. &nb
My Dearest: It has been so long since we've talked; since we've touched; since I've felt the tenderness of your soft lips caressing my own. Your voice was once so euphonious to me. You had always found a way to bring my mind to joy, even during my times of greatest need. I had nothing when you found me. I had not even the clothing on my back, but only a thin gown. My thoughts were then in deep distress; my life was but only a mess. You, my dear; you were the only who could bring a smile to my face, a laughter in my voice, and the love from my heart. You were my everything! You were my everyone... my only one. When I was trash to the rest of the world, you saw something in me. You saw things that I would have never realized on my own. You were my anchor, my crutch; you were the rope that I held on to which pulled my from my gloom, my hole... my grave. Oh how I miss you so, my dear. I miss your tender touch, as when we would kiss your hand would graze my chin, my cheek, the back of my neck. I miss parking the car in an empty lot in the middle of the night just to dance to the song that played in our hearts. I miss holding you closely in my arms, as the night would grow dim you would fall asleep beside me; while i could not sleep because I was so captivated by you. You would wake up and smile just because I had not let you go through the night. I miss gazing into your eyes. I remember telling you on multiple occasions that your eyes were just so beautiful to me, but you would never believe me. Then you would ask with a smile on your face, "How many girls have you used that line on before?" rolling your eyes. I would smile back and tell you that your eyes are the most beautiful eyes I think that I have ever seen in my life. And, darling, that is not a lie. Your eyes are so perfect! They are bright light blue with delicately detailed patterns that make them look like timeless winter crystals. Do you remember? Do you remember how you felt with me? Do you remember the way our kiss would make you feel? Do you remember joyous feeling of being in love? Do you remember the first time we said, "I love you." to each other? Do you remember how I stuck by you no matter how badly things had gotten, within our complicated situation? Do you remember talking to me in the middle of the night and no matter what it was, I was there to help, to listen, to give feedback? I do. I remember all of it. From the night that we met, to the last second I saw you... I remember. And because I remember, I wish I could forget. I wish I could forget how happy I was then so that I can stop mourning how depressed I feel right now. I wish I could forget what it felt like to be loved so that I do not realize my feelings of being unloved; of being trash; of being worthless to the one I once called my lover, my friend, my Aubrey Reed. Signed with all of my love,Me
You know how people have out-of-body experiences? I'm having one right now. Myself is sitting on the couch in the back of the coffee shop. I, right next to me. I look at myself and I see right through the wall that i built so long ao. Dad told me never to cry, never to show weakness. But, I did, and I do. I'm not afraid to say that I cry. A lot. In front of others? No way. I look back into my life and see my pain. I hate being this way. I hate those scars and I hate how I've let you people get under my skin. There was a time where I saw myself as a person. Now? I see a painting. Splattered paint and strangled emotions. Certainly not a Picasso or a Michelangelo, but something of some value.
I don't know exactly what value, but something, I mean I've got to be worth something, right?
Give me a minute here.
To the kids in school; I know that I'm different and, in your words, weird. Please, don't give me crap about it. It's how I get over stuff.
To the kids on the bus; Don't start with me, please. My best friend just killed himself.
To the freshman; I know your backpacks are heavy, but don't let that affect you. You are the next generation. No prenny-throwing, senior will change that.
And to my so-called "father;" I have nothing to say to you.
To myself; Hi, there. Do me a favor? Would you just live? Forget the kids, forget your...dad, forget all of the abuse and tears. Just live.
Some call it "love." Some call it a fallacy. Some call it "karma." Some call it a mess. I call it life. It is a mess and it most definitely is a fallacy, but in reality, it is all that we have. It's the only inkling of hope that we hold.
You and I, we have something in common. We're both lost; not lost like a puppy, lost like a soul. We're holding on for dear life, and if we let go...
I'm still sitting in the back of the coffee shop with myself. I'm trying to make sense of this all.
Stop, stop making sense of it. Breathe in a out. Slowly. Live.
blue fluxes navy
in effervescent splash dances
complacent with your words,
skin pigment laced pink
stains and tinges grey
while trails of liner treadway
fade with your name
still, my head mimics
dramatic scenery within film strips,
of horroresque cinematics
so sluggishly shaking horizontal
still, after weeks proceeding months
in the near completion of one-hundred-days
strings frayed garrote my heart
in utter asphyxiation
and still, my breath undulates
I tiptoe into plasmic veils
and now my shadow seems less vivid,
always careening to outline behind
I don't need a replica,
I just want a friend
this piece is a poetic collaboration between brett & I. we decided to write something free-form, alternating authors every two or three lines.
[more elaborate introduction forthcoming]
this piece is a week-long collaboration between katie & I. there had been virtually no prior planning, save for an agreement to compose a fictional piece and to write from separate character perspectives. I portrayed liam, whereas she portrayed ethan.
I figured I would just get some ideas / a map of some of the things we mentioned including in this. We can add to it and then on Sunday make it look pretty once we have content taken care of? If there is anything that I add that you don't like or think could be improved upon, please feel free. I felt our guy needed a name, but even that can be changed.
Name: Karsten Schwartz
II. Work Experience
III. Volunteer Experience
1. Civvies - necessary Civil Service in home of aged persons at request of government. Unmatched tasks, assist in day-to-day objectives.
IV. Hobbies / Achievements
1. Bike riding, football playing, family and friends to visit, meeting new people, writing of poetry and narration.
Dedicated to my brother Jesse.
These are the first 3 chapters from a work I've been planning for a long time. Throughout the course of the next couple months, I'll be regularly adding content to it in the form of new chapters. I hope you enjoy it. Putting this work together has been and will continue to be something of an emotional purging. It's a bit insane for me to think that I've actually begun to write this, but it's been long overdue.
I'll be chronicling the last few years of my life in the form of a novel, hopefully taking you on a journey that will be memorable, charming, and curious. Feel free to leave whatever feedback you like. I'm open to any thoughts you'd like to share.
A sincere thanks to all who read this.