Scenes From a Weekend

Cabrillo Isle Marina, San Diego 

"And Jesus was a sailor 
When he walked upon the water 
And he spent a long time watching 
From his lonely wooden tower 
And when he knew for certain 
Only drowning men could see him 
He said "All men will be sailors then 
Until the sea shall free them" 
But he himself was broken 
Long before the sky would open 
Forsaken, almost human 
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone"

- Leonard Cohen Suzanne 

Saturday morning whereupon we take the early initiative to head out towards the bay on a nearly vacant 15 freeway, after drive through coffee, gas station fill ups, and two glazed doughnuts spilt between four kids causing uproars from the two claiming unfair halves were divided as a result. 

Whereupon we miss our exit because we are caught up casually entertaining the prospect of actually owning a sail boat (in spite of not actually knowing how to sail) inside of this sweetly kept harbor that glistens from the parking lot as I scour the van for matching shoes and a leash to secure a dog who doesn't need one. 

A deck scattered with friendly old men in button downs and ray bans glinting kindly at us as we pass. Even though (in the company of said children we come slapping happily around the deck with eager feet and a matted poodle) to make clear case for our status here as an outsiders. Visitors at a place we don't belong. But adore all the same. 

The names on the boats are not nearly as impressive or inspiring as I hoped. Some worn, some polished. All typically named (as is good tradition to warrant good luck of any boat at sea) the likes of which - from what I can gather - lacking any sense of poetry or wit. Leaning instead on plain humor built of corny reference. I decide there on the edge of the dock as the boys dip inside the cabin and the seller explains the ropes of the endeavor, that if it were ours she would be called "Suzanne." Immediately I start thumbing my mind for proper fonts I know off hand that might suit it best. Debating over a few before I'm called to the boat to tour it myself. 

This boat which we've come to see in hopes of securing the trade that will take the red 60's Land Rover from the drive way at his parents house, and hand us this faded yellow beauty in place, is smaller than we picture. Rougher than we hoped, and altogether unpractical when we stop to truly consider it. Especially knowing the amount of free time we have in the near future is soon to be sucked way entirely should we find the right house and begin (as any we've seen, imagined and intended) a full blown interior renovation that our current budget promises to entail. All done ourselves, without the handy time frames and peace of mind that paid contractors grant you when you afford it. 

Still, the fantasy of being half drunk on that little yellow boat in the orange glow of a late July evening sinks deep inside of me and I can't seem to talk myself away from it. Even knowing full and well that my fear of such things is destined to outweigh the romance of it all, because on the drive home I'm scrolling through endless images of a tanned, painfully handsome young JFK on various sailboats during the peak of the Hyannis Port era, and find myself easily accepting of all the superficial reasons to make this trade for a boat we can't yet direct, work out. The careless linen wardrobes, the obvious appeal of a man sailing at boat sea, the quaint bars lining the harbor attached to visions of platters stacked with cheese and salami that belong atop that small table under deck, and the boys in their cute red life vests and navy striped shirts.

Ultimately we leave it undecided. A dream to dangle until we come to our senses and manage to move past it. A name boat without a name. But "Suzanne" indefinitely, should she ever be ours. . .