The Selkie and the Lynx

Lynx is a top-sail schooner. It has two masts. Its deck is made of Douglas fir. It is anchored along River Walk in Fort Lauderdale right now, and I know this because I am given to night wanderings, and I wandered by.

It’s too much to bear, the rigging there like bodice lacings. I want, have wanted since I was a girl, to sail. But sailing is a rich kid’s hobby, and there are no more wooden sailing vessels like fluyt ships and frigates… only there are, and there’s one here: Lynx. Schooner. And I am sitting in front of it, numbly, dumbly trying to take pictures in the half-dark, the sodium arc gilded dim of Fort Lauderdale’s downtown night-stirrings. I want, and that wanting feels the way I’d always imagined seasickness must feel, but I have never been sea sick, even out on small ships in rough waters in the Gulf.

So I make a pact. In a year, I will run away to crew a tall ship. In a year— I will give it time, you see— if I have not cobbled my life into something more stable, I will throw stability to the wind. I’ve lived without it this long.

Because I am a selkie without a skin. What’s really stopping me from going home?

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