Steve and I are on opposite ends of the time zone spectrum; his late night is my early morning. We usually are able to connect as I am dragging myself out of bed and he is crawling into his. But this week either he hasn’t been able to stay up late or I haven’t been able to get up early so we’ve missed each other. Not a huge deal, no sweet “Good Morning!”, but it is something that over the last several months I have grown accustom to, and the day seems a little lonely when I don’t get a chance to hear his voice.
On Wednesday morning I woke at 3am covered in a light sweat. This was odd since it is winter here and as of last week I was wearing my woolie socks to bed. Then I was cold, searching for another blanket to pull over me. Shortly there after I was leaning over the 8 quart pressure cooker (no water means no flushing toilet) as the chillies from the pizza the night before burnt my throat for a second time. There is nothing like a bout of food poisoning to get you excited about the day.
Thankfully after a few hours of alternating hot, cold and vomiting I was able to keep down some rice and water and fall asleep on the sofa. It was a pretty low day, but no one is gonna make you feel better when you’ve got food poisoning, and being a sympathetic vomit-er myself , I was glad no one was around to witness. It would have been nice to have a cold clothe for my forehead, but I survived.
This morning however I hit rock bottom. Or perhaps I should say I hit a dirty, grassy bottom very close to the boat.
Getting off the boat to clean my varnish brush my foot slipped off the second step of the lovely, sturdy staircase that is next to the boarding gate. Very suddenly I was testing the laws of gravity and although I seemed to fall quite slowly through 5 feet of empty space I landed with a great thud, and perhaps the slightest bounce, mostly on my left side with my bum taking the brunt of the impact. As I lay in a curled heap on the hard ground, still cool in the morning shade, I was thankfully for all the padding I have back there. Shifting onto my back and flexing my legs I could tell that I hadn’t broken any bones but I had definitely twisted my right knee and ankle. Despite my neighbour witnessing the whole thing all I got was an “Are you ok?” to which I of course squeaked, “Yes” while trying to keep the tears at bay. He then offered to leave me be unless I asked for assistance, I guess he thought I would be too embarrassed to like a helping hand. Not quite the case.
So I bit my quivering lower lip, pulled myself off the ground and carefully hobbled back up the steps and into the cabin. What else could I do? There was obviously no one there to help. After collecting myself and assessing things I figured it best to ice my now throbbing joints. The problem is I have no freezer right now and the store, although just across the basin, is probably the farthest walk from the boat than any other destination. On went the sunglasses and hat, if I was gonna breakdown along the way I was gonna put on a brave face doing it. I limped and hopped and made it there and back slowly. My usual round of hello’s were a little less than cheery. One person I saw along the way asked my of I was OK.
When I got back to Kate and sorted out a bag of ice and a comfy spot in the cockpit trussed up with pillows it dawned on me that I was very alone. Sure there are days when I am lonely, wishing for some familiar company, some easy conversation and some physical connection. But there are very few days when I actually feel alone.
I have learned a lot about myself on the last few months. I have enjoyed the challenge of boat projects and conquering my fears of doing the “man” jobs. Yes cooking for one is a bore and not having someone to split a cold beer with at the end of the work day isn’t much fun. But discovering that when you fall, before you’ve even had coffee, that you have no safety net, no one to come to your rescue and hold your hand, that you’ll have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off is a hard lesson to learn, literally. But like other things thrown in my path recently I have traversed this obstacle, I’ll be it with a limp and a hand full of ibuprofen.
I spent the last few hours lounging in the cockpit icing my knee and reading. The only thing that is not in the medical kit is a compression bandage, those brown elastic thingys sometime in everyone’s youth they had wrapped around a wrist, ankle or knee. But Lorenzo, the Manager of Baobab, the company that has done so much work for us in the past, is hopefully coming to my rescue later today. He’s across the bay at the other marina today and just lives up the road, so fingers crossed my request doesn’t get lost in translation between me, him and the pharmacist.
It is Saturday here tomorrow, after this week I think a lie in might be in order.