Yesterday the results of the biopsy revealed an aggressive cancer. Last night I had a dream. Here it is:
I am a young deckhand wearing shorts. Tanned. No shoes. It is a busy harbor scene. No real landscape, only very calm, oily water and a dock. Numerous red tugs manuever close and far. Some are eccentric variations of the traditional silhouette and I marvel at them. The boat I am on is involved with bringing a barge to a dock with other tugs assisting. When we complete the job and get underway I am on the deck which is now spacious, high above the water, reminiscent of a cement barge deck. I stand near a cleat and take a line from a tug below us and secure it to the cleat. I am sure the deckhand below is eyeing my wife who has appeared on the deck with me and that his interest in her is why he tied up to us. But this concern passes quickly and the deckhand flips the line free of the cleat and his boat steams away from us. We get to a dock. I have my old sea bag. The same, army green one I carried year in and year out to the Felicia. I leave it on the dock and go into a tiny, very dark and dingy bar, similar to a place I frequented in Fulton Fish Market.. I do not recognize the bartender. He is a small, bald man, wearing a natty bow tie. Scattered around are fishermen who one time or another worked on Felicia. All are familiar but likely dead. I recognize the thin, lounging Curley Martin, One Eyed Magna, maybe (the original) Tiger Red. Dagfin, the long dead captain, is there. They seem to be waiting for something. I need to pee and open the door to the bathroom. It is filthy. The toilet seems to have overflowed and shit is on the floor. I do not want to go in there barefooted so I leave the bar to go to the boat and retrieve my bag. However the tide has come in. Where I left the bag is under water and the Felicia is nowhere to be seen. I think she is away somewhere for repairs, that the crew is waiting for her, and she will return shortly. I see my bag floating in the water. Strangers in a row boat fish it out and bring it to me. Water pours out but I seem to find my boots amid the clothing. I am relieved to have the bag, grateful to those that pulled it from the water. I think for a moment about how good people are. Another man I take to be a clammer shows me his shoes which have an elaborate contraption that looks a little like a thickly padded bandage attached to the sole. I take it to be something designed to help him walk better on the steel, shell and fish covered deck. No, he says, it is an arch support.