“He was many things but first and foremost, he was a storyteller,” Madeliene Rose.
“[Captain Marlowe] was the only man of us who still “followed the sea.” The worst that could be said of him was that he did not represent his class. He was a seaman, but he was a wanderer, too, while most seamen lead, if one may so express it, a sedentary life.” Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad.
I spent the days of influenza in my living room, on a velvet sofa with a shawl on my feet, donning cashmere and a fever. I was surrounded by a slew of peonies the old lady brought over from the house of the flower hoarder and piles upon piles of hardbacks the librarian had sent over when he heard I was sick.
I wanted to go through the whole lot but I felt too weak to read. You know darling, I tell you a lot of stories but sometimes I need someone to talk to me and tell me a story. I was tempted to call upon Eduardo del Mar for some entertainment when the old lady came in and told me I had a visitor.
Sitting up on the sofa, I watched as an old man in a sea captain’s uniform came in, holding his hat in his hands while his eyes bore the solitude of years at sea.
“I heard you were unwell Madeliene Rose. The librarian told me so. He said that you had enough books to get you through but I say to hell with books, you need someone to tell you a story while you get better. My name is— ”
“I know who you are, I can smell the sea. Tell me a story Captain.”
He sat right at the other end of the sofa, right next to my feet. He never looked into my eyes while he recounted stories about parts of the world that are so far away they seem to belong more to fiction than to the world.
Story credit: Image via Marie Claire Turkey.