(Part One Here)
Left on their own, the girls would have been off already; the old fellow could see that they were trying to involve the boy in the process. He could see them gesturing to the boom, the winches, the cockpit; clearly, they were giving him a little familiarization talk to get him ready for the sail. It would be important that he know where to be; the boom could kill him easily if they jibbed, he would fall overboard quickly if he went wandering around the bow of the boat in the darkness. There were many things he would have to know before he could do much more than sit quietly in the cockpit. Mainly, he should hold on; the old fellow could read the girl’s lips when she gave the boy the old wisdom, ‘one had for the boat, one hand for yourself’. The old fellow smiled; he had given them the saying, as well as the one that dictated, ‘never leave your boat’. It was gratifying to talk to girls like them; they listened and were glad for the help. Very unlike most people, he thought.
The young man was proving slow to move from the dock to the boat. He watched the girls work, wanting to show his superiority by telling them how to do things, but he was hampered by the fact that he knew nothing whatever about sailing. It was disconcerting to him to have to listen to a couple of girls, especially girls he wanted to have sex with, telling him all about something he had no interest in. He had come sailing with them strictly because it had occurred to him that he would almost certainly get to screw them both in the boat. He had not envisioned the river like it was; black, cold water, chill wind, frightening. It galled him that these two little girls were apparently excited to get out onto the Columbia; he had only seen it from the great bridges that spanned it. Glancing down, he had seen the sailboats playing in the breezes and begun to form the same kind of cliche`d romanticism the old sailor had; fresh, healthy, easy women. This business of “Sit there, hold this when we say so, don’t go anywhere and listen to what we say and do it” was a bit much. In fact, it was getting plainer and plainer that the order of the night had lots of work in it. Work, he knew, meant no sex; girls were no fun that way. He didn’t know for sure about sailing, but they tended to get all caught up in studying and actually got mad if a guy tried to get even the slightest little quicky out of them when they were doing it. Especially in public. The docks looked awfully public...the old asshole that had opened the gate for them was just across from them on the next dock, sitting in his boat, eating. He was watching too; the boy had the distinct feeling that the old fart was watching him to protect the girls from him. This galled him too.
He stood, toeing the deck with his hundred-dollar tennis shoes that never saw a pace above a slow walk and stuck his hands into his back pockets. The girls were done with the sails; they were looking at him, heads cocked to the side; perhaps he didn’t know it was ok to get onboard.
“Hey,” the athletic one called, “get onboard; were almost ready to go.” She smiled sweetly at him; he had been the subject of much conjecture and she wanted to have him on board. Out on the dark, scary river they’d see what he was made of. At work, he was all tough guy and sweetness, pretending to be a chivalrous knight-in-shining armor. He made a big deal out of cluing her in to which guys were ‘players’, which were secret misogynists, who made sexual comments behind their cute little backs. She liked him, had come to trust him. She extended a hand over the rail.
“Come on,” she said, “it’ll be dark soon. I want to be out in the wind and get the sails up before dark; it’s a lot easier in the light. Come on.” She waggled her hand at him. From where he stood, he could see a little down her shirt, firm breasts framed by her confident face and strong arms. Wisps of hair had escaped her tom-boy bun and dance wildly in her face; the wind was playing with everything now, showing off its strength. The young fellow felt it against his back. It was strong enough now to rock him a little with its gusts. Awfully nasty weather, he thought.
“Forget it.” He paused for effect,expert in the manipulation of the fragile sex, “ I’m not getting on until you two put on life vests. Period.” He had finally been able to see something wrong, somewhere he could assert his dominance. Dominance led to sex, he had found; his heart trilled at his words; his tone, he knew, was just right. They would be his. There was a finality in his body language; he stood quite still, arms folded in front of him. He had spoken to her breasts, though, which he knew was a mistake. What the hell; he kept looking.
The prettier, more feminine girl he had come with seemed to be stunned for a moment, but only a moment. She clambered past her captain and onto the dock, throwing off the lines that held the boat to the dock. The boobs he had been talking to hid themselves in their shirt and went with their owner to the back of the boat. The little outboard spurted into life, the last line went over the side and the boat backed out into the dark water lane.
The boy thought that the pretty one he had come with was going to stay with him; she was still on the dock as the little engine revved up and the boat began to pull away. He felt a surge of gratification; he only needed one of them. The hell with the bossy bitch and her stupid boat. Her friend could tell her what she had missed later. He turned to walk back to the car. He was twenty feet down the dock before he realized he was alone.
“Hey!” He shouted it loudly; he had come in the pretty one’s car. She couldn’t leave him out here. “Hey! Get back here!” Across the water he heard only the quiet roar of the outboard; merciful circumstance saved him from the loud, sad laughter of the captain and her mate as they rounded the point and hit the chop of the open river.
The old fellow was still there. The boy turned about, looking for some sign that he was not really deserted; a fool. Eventually, he headed back up the catwalk to the gate and went through it, wondering if anyone would pick him up; he would thumb it back into town and go to a club. Bitches.
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