I am up to my calves in the sea, the very beginnings of the sea which stretches before me out to the edge of the sky. My ship, my tiny ship moored in the shallows, rocks back and forth anxiously, like a schoolboy. The waves lap at its side, the cool waters. Ah, let us go, let us set forth, my ship!
But I am detained. All the women have gathered on the beachhead. We must deal with them, my ship and I. All want to make passage with us. They are shrieking, moaning, imploring. Each woman presents a plaintive convincing case. Each, it is clear from their arguments, deserves beyond the shadow of a doubt to accompany me. They love me, they say. Of course! I am irresistible. My rudder is golden, my sails ample, I have shapely legs. On the beach, with the wind blowing in my thin hair, I make an appealing picture. I am the captain of a noble craft, of everything in fact in sight. I am the only man for miles around. I am needed, that’s clear. But how should I take them all, these lovely creatures ? There is room for but one companion and frankly I am loath to take anyone beside myself. I am selfish, utterly. The wind blows in my hair. I turn to them and raise my arms for silence. I shall speak. A hush falls. AU eyes grow round and soft and fix me tenderly. The tears flow. It is touching. The back of my shirt bellies like a sail.