Companion

Far below me, on the waves, a boat passes. Slowly, over hours, it steams along the coastline and out of view behind an outstretched arm of land.

It’s a fishing boat, an old boat with a heavy wooden hull, painted red. A small wheelhouse gleams white amid the clutter of the deck. It labours through the water, raising a hill of foam at bow and stern and carving a hollow of slick water between, deep enough to show its belly, stained green with stripes of weed. A scattering of gulls follows it, but languidly, as it’s trailing no gear.

I peer at it intently, trying to see who is sharing my lonely journey, albeit at a distance. But however hard I stare, no figure appears.

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