Cutlasses Only 51 - The Lump Of Coal

Cara and Kim had finished Cara's photo assignment and gone north to spend the Holiday with one of their families. That was not, of course, an option for me as I have no living family. I had suggested to Sally that either she or we go up to the Panhandle to see her family for the Holiday, but she had rejected that idea. Sally had seemed somewhat down and more withdrawn than was normal for her. I suspect that my clumsy efforts to brighten her mood were counterproductive.

About a week before Christmas, Sally uttered the words which no man ever wants to hear from a lady with whom he is in a relationship: "We need to talk." Suddenly more tense than if I were sailing in a hurricane, I asked what was on her mind. Sally said her piece quite well. Summarized, it was that she greatly enjoyed sailing on Cutlass, loved being naked all of the time, and loved me; but, she was still young. It was fine for me to do nothing but sail around because I had already accomplished everything in life that I was likely to accomplish (thank you, Ma'am). She had not really accomplished anything and felt that she owed it to herself to get back into the real world and find out what she could achieve. Well, it hurt, a lot, but I understood how she felt. I certainly did not want her thinking years from now that staying with me cost her a lifetime of accomplishment, so I encouraged her to do whatever she felt was right from her; and urged her not to worry about how that might impact me.

Sometimes, I really should keep my mouth shut. With my explicit blessing, a fully dressed and ravishing Sally, with two bags (containing her clothes stored in Kay's and Dr. Rick's house), got into a cab in front of Kay's and Dr. Rick's place the next morning, headed for Southwest Florida airport and a flight to the Panhandle. I promised to ship the rest of her stuff, mainly things she had acquired during our sails, to her parents' house. What echoed most loudly in my peabrain because it was not said was anything from Sally about ever coming back to Cutlass.

After Sally left, I went back to the boat and carefully packed up her remaining things. Then I went ashore, dressed, and took the car that Kay and Dr. Rick let me use down to Bailey's, where I bought more bubblewrap, a box, and a Christmas card. I packed up Sally's souvenirs and the card and shipped them to her in care of her parents. As I drove back up to Kay's and Dr. Rick's, I thought about stopping somewhere for a few beers. I talked myself out of that on the reasoning that it was the stereotype of a guy who has just been dumped. I reminded myself that Sally had never committed to stay, that the point of Cutlass was personal freedom, and, consequently, Sally had an imperative to pursue her own life development and leave the boat whenever she felt that it was no longer the best thing for her. I told myself that all I was ever entitled to from the relationship was the opportunity to give Sally a pleasant phase in her life, and all I should do was hope that I had. Nice theory, but the practice pretty much sucked at that moment.

I carefully parked the car and hid the keys in the assigned spot in Kay's garden. I ********, threw my clothes into the zodiac, and motored back to the boat. I sat on deck staring at the Gulf until I began feeling silly. I went below and typed an e-mail to Kay and Dr. Rick so that they would know what I was up to. Then I went back on deck and got the anchors up. I started the iron wind and headed out. After I was several hundred yards offshore, I cut the motor and ran up sails. I headed west-southwest out into the Gulf. I had no destination in mind. I had gotten out of the habit of sailing solo, but all I wanted to do was spend Christmas floating somewhere by myself.
HStoner HStoner
51-55, M
1 Response Dec 10, 2012

Soo sad but so right on your part, and hers.... No matter how painful...it's best to encourage folks we love and our self to reach for what is honestly desired.....I love the saying that you never hold a bird too tightly but allow it to fly free and if it comes back...of it's own accord ....it's the real thing..... I admire her for wanting to go and find her goals too... Sometimes sad moments and times like these bring way better times down the road....