Friday, November 27, 2009

Living a Lie

Email from a client:
Edee, What’s up? I was wondering if I, or someone from my business, did something to offend you or your staff? If so, I apologize for anything we may have done and wonder why it has affected the relationship between you and I. The last few times I have seen or talked with you, you seem upset or bothered and I am not sure why. Most recently at the Greek Festival, you barely wanted to speak with me or look at me. I hope I can fix whatever I did so we can move on and get back to a good business and friend relationship.

November 27, 2009
Email from me in return;
No, no, no, no, no, no. I AM having a really hard time in my life right now. That’s it. ME. Sometimes good friends can pick that up so it’s easier to avoid it. In time, all things will be make clear. It is not, not, not you or your business. We are not in the same personal social circle but I do consider you of my good friends. Edee

I hate this. I have made a decision to leave but can only tell a few friends and family. I have to make a plan for the Company. I have to save my employee’s job. I have to wait to tell them. Yet I have to continue to work with co-workers at the Company and sell to Clients like I’ll always be here, knowing full well I will not be the person to facilitate it. It feels like living a lie.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Emails from Italy

Dear Captain, I had a terrible day at the company. Tomorrow is poised to be worse. Tell me it’s real out there. Tell me that I will escape all this with something to look towards. I KNOW it will be hard work at times…sailing always is. I know it will be a huge adjustment to live in 4 feet of personal space but I cannot take it here much longer. I think I might jump off a cliff. Edee

November 19, 2009
Dear Edee,
Hang in there! I promise it will get better. In the past six months we’ve seen the green flash, whales breaching, an active volcano spouting steam, the ruins of Pompeii…I could go on.
There’s a whole world out here, Edee, bigger and better than the little ones we have to live in most of the time. Soon enough, you’ll be out here in it. Okay? So stay tough, and let me know how you’re doing. The Captain

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Attraction or Distraction?

...Until January 21, 2010.

Living in a Beach Town comes with its own set of dating challenges. Being single comes with its own set of questions that start with “Why aren’t you married?”
No, No, No, Yes, No or Yes are the answers!
Have you been married? Are you gay? Have kids? Been engaged? Have a boyfriend?
So at this point in changing my life, leaving my job and moving overseas, the LAST thing I need is for the guy...the incredible, athletic, handsome, perfect, amazing guy, I’ve known for a year, to become close to me.
Did I mention he was incredible?
“You’re not going to be on a boat pining away for some guy are you?” my friend Rebecca asked over lunch.
“No, no. We’re just hanging out. He knows I’m leaving.” I say.
Did I mention he was incredible?
Whoever knows when it really happens? When you start to fall…
But nothing is that perfect, or should I say incredible.

NOTE TO SELF: A Wine, Beer and Food Festival is NOT a good place to unknowingly go with an alcoholic on a first date.
A secret life exposed itself. I was to tell no one. Alcohol was just one issue in a life of excuses. One by one the pain of the truth came up to bat, just in time for me to find justifications to spend more time worrying about his life than the mounting “to do” list of my own.

Between his lies and my denial, I was over my head and had never seen the ugly, up-close truth of alcoholism. To me, growing up in a non-drinking Mennonite family, having drinks now were fun and games and nothing more. Ignoring the signs, I thought that occasionally drinking too much meant drinking out of my shoe, holding bad dancing contests, or doing the moon walk: all which I have participated in.

But it’s an evil decease and I stared at it head-on like a surgeon at a cancer. His passing out and laying on a soaked mattress or pool of urine on the floor should have been a wake up call for anyone in love or lust. Although I cared deeply, I did know that I couldn’t help or change a thing for him.

The time together was very short yet would leave a deep cut in my heart and a lasting new impression of alcohol. Mr. Incredible would disappear, then reappear and then would become a regular, then infrequent text. Finally, after recently getting a text that screamed “I am not guilty of doing wrong...” I wrote back:
(Final Text to Mr. not-so-Incredible;)
Amazing to me that I am protecting a guy who lied to me and then chose to treat me like shit. Deals off. Girls change our minds. I fly to Italy soon. Sail to Greek Islands then thru the Med. Canary Islands, Cape Verde and Caribbean. Got prospect to work for Government after sailing since I have no criminal record nor have ever been exposed to someone like u; So afraid to live OUT LOUD. Take ur secrets and spread ur poison all the time thinking uv done nothing wrong. Shame on you for taking so much promise of ur life and screwing the world. Shame on me for believing u were real.

The next night, entirely by coincidence, I watched the TV show “Intervention” about families seeking an intervention for an alcoholic loved one. I felt a sad pity for him and my anger changed to disgust towards the decease. Sadly, I doubt he will beat it. I’m afraid he will continue to use his good looks and charisma as his ticket thru life until it’s too late. I pray I'm wrong.

Was it attraction? If my friends knew the truth, they would drag me to counseling. If my family knew the truth, they would pray. So, I brushed myself clean and realized I had been caught up in a huge distraction. A distraction that was hiding the pain of separating from my friends. A distraction that was overshadowing the fear of my unknown future. A distraction that was making me look away from the process of my life in Daytona coming to a close.
photo: Seriously?! ...after it was over, I found that alcohol that I had had for years had been emptied. Even a bottle of Cooking Marsala Wine.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

SY Juno; the maiden voyage ie: Voyage of the dammed

In 2008 the Captain emailed to say they had decided on a boat purchase and do I want to help crew it from Virginia to Florida? I thought it would be a good experience for me to travel both the Intracoastal and the open ocean off the coast of the Carolina's.

Except, it was November.

Being a warm water girl, I had not experienced cold sailing. I flew to Virginia and got to the marina late. Even in the dark, I loved SS Juno, a 44" Alden Cutter. Three of us left Virginia the next morning...the weather was in the 40's.

The Intracoastal was a pure joy. Our only worries were finding anchorage before dark and the optical illusions that the bridges give you going under them. (Oh yeah, and somehow ending up backwards in the Lock...was it MY fault the guy couldn't catch a line?!)

Little did I know it would be the Voyage of the dammed.

Researching a boat to buy is different than really knowing her. Being an unfamiliar boat to the Captain, he spent days prepping best he could and knew that the European past owner had done ocean crossings. But once we hit open ocean, everything that could go wrong did.

Starting with the other crew member spending the next 48 hours pucking.

NOAA had called for 3 to 6 feet with perfect winds. God had other plans. The waves turned 8 to 10 with a 10 foot swell that first night. The wind turned to be worse case scenario and 50 knot winds gusted for added excitement. First to go was the Weather Vain, an automatic pilot device for heavy weather. This meant taking 100 percent of the helm and the weight of every wave. I was too ramped to sleep so I took the first rotation: Midnight to 3am. I refused to look behind me again after seeing the moonlight light up a wave looming overhead. Even though I had 5 layers of clothing on top and 4 on bottom including my foul weather gear, by 3am I was absolutely freezing and exhausted. Finally, after singing every camp song I could remember from childhood at the top of my lungs, I just started to sob. Seasick crew mate Mathew awoke with courage enough to run thru the galley and to the fore cabin and wake the Captain. Once we changed shifts, safe in the galley, I peeled off my cloths and realized the real culprit. My brand new foul weather gear had failed; I was soaked to the bone with the freezing water.

When I returned, I had to make a list just to process all that had happened. Here it is:

Leave Virginia in the 40's
Shower breaks
Weather Vane breaks
Takes on water, bilge every hour
Drop lock nut in water---that was me
End up backwards in the Lock---blamed on me
Dingy motors (2) do not work.
Brown water comes out of facets
Complete fog off Charleston
Found out LATER we were reading the radar wrong
Tanker anchored 25 miles out
Motor Stops; help change fuel filter, bleed lines, get diesel only to discover we really just ran out of gas on the port side. (didn't I suggest that?)
Winds N/W. Our direction: N/W= bad combination for making progress
Rouge wave hits Shirish on watch; rips canvas and swamps deck.
Engine Blower Breaks
Propane emergency alarm keeps going off to read: Exposives! Danger!
Wind Generators not ready to be used
Storm hits nearing destination---can't see Chanel markers.
Marina cancelled our reservation
Moored the boat in a gale with a rapid current
My car is in sight with warm clean cloths but I can't get to it until morning.
Arrive in Florida to freak weather: Temperature in the 40's!

A year later, Juno is a tip top sailing machine already in Italy. But for anyone who thinks sailing is only a vacation, you have not been on a passage. I thought long and hard about the maiden voyage before I made my decision to join them. Skyping from Italy one day, The Captain assured me the NOTHING like what happened to us on that first trip had happened again. I'll take my chances.