Sun and wind lick my skin. The tide rolls beneath my feet as the breeze spins around me. I grip the floor of the boat with my toes, bending my knees, bracing my body as the wave heaves, pitching the boat slightly, up and down, up and down, like a carousel. I move slowly up the port side holding onto the rail as I make my way towards the top and the seat behind the wheel next to the handsy captain. His lengthy bended legs make for high knees. Long fingers wrap around the silver wheel and he slides to the side offering it to me. I grab at it eagerly. A wide smile swallows my face as the burn spreads thru me. I own the ocean and the waves are now my high.
He points at a computer display on the dash and tells me to keep the boat pointed in a westerly direction then disappears down into the galley for a time. He reappears and uninvited, he slides in behind me on the long captain’s bench. I feel my face go vacant and my mind go numb. His long arms and legs spread around me, like a spider. Gripping the wheel until my knuckles turn white, I stiffen and move unconsciously forward to the edge of the seat, hoping to avoid touching any part of his sticky hot skin. He starts massaging my shoulders. I do not move. I am, at least, thankful to not be pressed between his sweaty, thorny thighs.
His hands are soft and talented and he molds my muscles into a pliable-like sponge. I relax and plot my moves knowing there’s nowhere for me to go while he continues working the tension out of my shoulders. I force myself to relent. He leans around my body, lips pursed, attempting to kiss me. I remain calm and move slightly away while my eyes cling to the horizon.
“I don’t kiss.”
He laughs. “You don’t kiss? That’s ridiculous. Why not?”
“I don’t kiss. Unless I’m in love.”
“That’s ridiculous,” he parrots and disappears again back into his hole.
Summer. 2014. I needed a vacation. Somewhere with sun, water, sand, and serenity. I started this quest by looking for jobs on cruise ships, the complete antithesis of peace; alas, a woman has no money, a woman gets little choice. They only wanted young beautiful women and men and I was a poor, moderately attractive, middle-aged white woman, college dropout and artist; what could I possibly offer them. I could not muster enthusiasm regardless. The thought of being stuck on a cruise ship with all those people made me physically wince and wish for an early death. I then looked for private yacht charters that needed help and found a site that posted positions from all over the world. I scanned the ads and sent messages to the few that didn’t make my skin crawl with caution. The few replied. Of those replies, one appeared somewhat reputable and interesting. We exchanged messages that brought back memories of the many horrors of online dating; something I’d purposely long forgotten and wanted no part of again. He was amicable enough, but kept reiterating that he lived a healthy lifestyle by swimming ten miles a day, eating healthy and very little. He then asked for photos and my weight. I rolled my eyes and released a long surrendered sigh: of course.
He eventually telephoned.
“It’s Captain Dan.”
“You know, like Captain Ron, the movie…except I’m Captain Dan?”
Several long seconds of silence passed while I contemplated hanging up on him.
“Hello?” A pause: “Hello?”
After I decided to respond to one of his many hellos, we talked casually about this trip and his needs. A divorced anesthesiologist and health and fitness nut that lives in Florida, he captains his boat to small private Caribbean charters and said repeatedly that he really didn’t need anyone, but likes to offer this experience to those who’ve never been. He then began to list the women before me that he had gifted with this wonderful opportunity; professional women such as marine biologists and vice presidents of banks and such.
“I could use some help on a few charters and you can still be useful as a photographer. You can help me clean,” he said. “And who knows, if we work well together perhaps there’ll be future trips. Depending, of course.”
My patience lessened and my eyes rolled. Did I really need a vacay this badly? I told him that perhaps he should choose someone else to gift with his presence and this great opportunity. His laugh was awkward and stilted unsure if I was joking. My impassive tone confused him. Uncertain on how to respond, he did with a long whiny ‘no, but’, then listed all the reasons why this trip would be good for me. I chuckled low agreeing with an ‘oh yes, such an opportunity for someone like me’.
A White Witch is at Amazon.