*click on the thumbnail to see a larger image
Other vessels were also steaming inshore, their work day at a close. Ron looked out upon the shore, which came into relief in the sun’s mellow last rays. It was just after low tide and the coastline was layered in color. Where the water met the shore was the red seaweed and then the brown seaweed. Above that was the dark green seaweed and then the black wet rock and the dry gray rock, which went up until the evergreen trees began and merged into forest. After the forest there was only sky.
At low tide on full and new moons, the brilliant jade seaweed was visible just above the surface. At high tides there would only be a sliver of the black wet rock along the coast and the rest would be gray rock and forest and sky. The coast was uneven and jagged and in places rose from the water as cliffs and it was wild and very beautiful. To live there and breathe of that air also made one uneven and jagged and if alongside these there was integrity and nobleness of heart, then beautiful too.
Ron shook his head as he steamed into the harbor. It was rare for lyrical moods to overtake him like that, but when they did, he was as much a sucker for them as anyone else.
He left the slop bucket on the porch, dropped his duffle bag inside the front door and went to the freezer. He filled a tumbler with ice and poured himself a rum and coke. He stood for a while by the bay windows, holding the drink, staring out at the distant water through his reflected image. He ran his fingers through his beard. He grew one out after Lev killed their father and hadn’t been clean shaven since. No particular reason. That’s just how it played out. Some things were constants in Ron’s life: the sea, the rum, and his beard.
“What do you say, Ron?” he murmured. “Time to unbury the past or what?” He took a drink and then went upstairs to the bathroom. After clipping his beard off, he took a shower and then shaved off the remaining growth.
Ron stared at the unfamiliar face that gazed at him in the mirror. He looked two decades younger. He wasn’t sure just what to make of it. He ran his hand over his face, feeling strangely exposed, even violated. He gave a scornful laugh and looked away. The damnedest things were going through his head lately.
He went downstairs and poured another drink. He stood briefly at the window again. Then he went to the computer. He knew exactly what he was going to write. He’d written and rewritten the message out in his head all afternoon. And he would have sent it, too, had Olga not already beaten him to it.