His extended absences didn't bother me. I knew he was on the water, his other home. Genuinely, a place he loved more than the land itself. His passion for the sea, mirroring my own love of the ocean and the shore. I smiled, knowing he'd return to me.
He was a romantic, a poet and a writer, like myself. I was a landlubber, captivated by his sea stories. The Sailor made his tugboat travels, past the sooty smokestacks and old commercial docks of the New York waterways, seem like a quixotic adventure to me.
I was blown away by his intelligence, and personal wealth of acquired knowledge about life. We talked about books. Bonded over Walt Whitman, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He exposed me independent music, and writers I had not yet read. And re-introduced me to my own passionate soul.
By the time mid-summer sunsets painted purples, pinks, reds and oranges across the sky, our relationship was at its dawn; We knew each other's life stories and secrets.
Our story had already accumulated a few chapters, on its own. But the sailor, still a developing character in my life, was about to reveal himself to me, in a way I would never experience again in this lifetime.
That unseasonably warm July day, turned into what can only be described as the most perfect scene plucked from a great romantic, Hollywood film. Think of the most climactic moment from the top of the Empire State Building between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, in 'Sleepless in Seattle.' Or at the end of the movie, 'You've Got Mail' when the dynamic Rom-Com duo meet in Central Park, revealing their true identities.
Even a great Tinseltown director could not have pulled off what happened to me, on the bank of the East River, just before dusk that mid-July night.
Sometimes, I still have to pinch myself to remember that it was real.
And, it started with a single text message.
He told me that it would be a rare occurrence. That his boat would be passing by a Queens park, not to far from my home. He said if I wasn't too busy, I might be able to see him waving, as the boat passed by.
Seemed simple enough. Of course, I would be there, I told him.
((TO BE CONTINUED))