Notes on Listing, Walking the Plank and Gaffs

I saw an old boat listing in a moorage. Moorage is a strange-sounding word. Someone walked away from this boat. One day this boat would disappear underwater and no one would remember it. But remember: it’s still there, rotting slowly, until most of it disintegrates.

Listing indicates peril for a boat. Something went wrong. Could have been human error or the elements. A sinking is imminent.

Am I listing like a leaky boat at sea? Can the boat be repaired, righted and sail into safe harbor? What about towed? Why would anyone like me who does not ride in boats use this is a metaphor?

Rivers and seas and water-going vessels provide the ultimate metaphors for landlubbers.

Bob Dylan once sang, “We live in a political world, where mercy has walked the plank.”

It’s a highly obscure Dylan song, rarely discussed or worshiped. It’s in my Top 3.

I walked that mercy plank. I was thinking of Dylan’s song when I did. I walked right off into the dark carpeted sea. It was calm and cold that afternoon. There was even a microphone present for a statement. The ship’s resident crew was mostly silent, just a few claps here and there. The ship’s social media crew was very noisy and let out a hearty round of applause.

But I did swim after the drop and not sink with my eyes closed to the bottom. I came up for air, breathing steadily, not gasping. I didn’t give up. I am still swimming, trying to find land or another boat. Someone or some thing needs to gaff me out of the water. I can’t gaff myself out, contrary to what someone keeps telling me.

Gaff me out of the water. How’s that for a metaphor?

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