The Old Man in the Sea

When my husband and I first met, we were both rowing down the stream in our own tiny rowboats.  We fell in love and he jumped in my rowboat so that we could row together.   Sometimes we disagreed on the direction we were going or exactly how to row, but overall we were happy. Then we found a bigger boat, but it needed a little work.  So he jumped in the new boat and started working on it while I towed him.  Eventually, I left my small boat and joined him in his bigger boat.  And away we went!

Sometimes he would paddle faster than I paddled.  Sometimes I paddled faster than he.  Sometimes he would just stop paddling, and I would paddle alone for a while.  Then I would yell at him, and he would start paddling again.   There were many times when he would put his paddle in the water and just hold it there as if to deliberately slow us down.  Then he started falling in the water, and I would pull him back in the boat.

One day, he stopped paddling altogether.  I kept paddling for both of us for a long time, but I was getting tired.  Finally, I told him he either had to help or get his own boat.  So he shopped for another boat, but couldn’t find one that worked for him.  Then we saw a nice, shiny powerboat, but it needed a bit of work.  So again I towed him while he worked on his powerboat.  I would even help him work on it.  In the meantime, our old rowboat was springing leaks. We got the powerboat running just before the rowboat sank.  We both jumped in the powerboat and took off.  I was thrilled because I was exhausted from paddling for both of us for so long.

He was proud to be the captain of his own powerboat, but he would not watch where he was going. He would run into rocks, and we would have to repair the boat. Then one day I got sick.  He became even more reckless and hit many rocks.  He tried to patch the boat on his own, but the boat kept leaking.  I was too sick to notice or to help.

He was very proud of his new boat, and he became self-centered and egotistical and oblivious to the people around him.  His boat was the biggest and fastest.  If others were in his way, he would just run over them.  But sometimes he would stop to help a stranded boater (especially a female). And people saw his good deed and his powerboat and thought he was great, good, and powerful (except those who he ran over). And the females wanted to ride in his powerboat.  He was pleased that he was so desirable.  But he still kept falling in the water, and I kept pulling him out.  Until one day, I was too weak from my sickness to pull him out.

He tried to pull himself out of the water, but he got distracted by the mermaids in the water.  One time when he was under water, he noticed there was a big chest of gold at the bottom, but it was guarded by the Old Man of the Sea, who was very old and very ill.   I threw him a life saver which kept him afloat but he kept going under the water.  By now, our powerboat had so many holes in it that it started sinking.  I grabbed the other life saver and jumped in the water after him.  When he would go under the water, I kept trying to pull him back up to his life saver.  It was then that I noticed that he had a huge anchor attached to him.  That was why he kept falling in the water.  Eventually, he started pushing me away when I would try to pull him up because he wanted chase the mermaids and wanted the gold all to himself.  I found myself drowning from trying to save him…and he didn’t want to be saved.  I surfaced, grabbed my life saver, and drifted away from him, crying all of the way.

Eventually the Old Man died and my husband got his gold.  But he is still under water.  He throws the gold in the air to attract the mermaids.  But he now thinks he controls everyone because he has the gold and was a captain of a powerboat. Sometimes he throws the gold up to the surface to attract some friends.  But the mermaids and friends must do what he wants them to do, or he pushes them away for new mermaids and new friends who are attracted to the gold and his stories of the powerboat.

I drifted for a while on my life saver.  Then, I found a raft that had the helping hand of God on it.  I am sad to have lost the love (or the illusion of love) of my husband.  I am sad that I can no longer give my love to my husband and I can no longer pull him out of the water because of the anchor attached to him.  But I have a raft and paddles and I know I can go on.  If the man I married ever needs help with his anchor, I would be more than happy to help him.  But I won’t let him pull me under the water again.