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The Wharf

The Wharf

A Story by Scarlett-Helena

A story in the form of prose.


The boats were calling to the skies, preparing for the night. The grey of the clouds were seeping, penetrating, affecting. If not for my absolute patience I would have shoved through the crowd of people on the wharf in order to make time for myself and to be within convenience. As it was I knew I wasn't being seen; fruit and greens spread in an array amongst the market being so much more appealing.

Though it was true that I was being ignored, I couldn't escape the feeling of containment. I did my best to see through jackets, through scarves, through flesh, through bone and onto the expanse of water where the boats were calling. I wanted to be one of the vessels that were chained to the dock, inevitably to be set free and wild.

The sound of bells emanating from the sea was perfunctory, a thing that was observable. I felt much the same; a habitual measure, my existence bound only by my very own responsibility. I had no manned direction and I was a novice to my own thoughts and overt behavior. To be counted, calculated, to be desired in ways specific was my ideal, though no one could see me and I could walk about the wharf as I pleased, feigning pleasure at the sight of the harvest items for sale. 

There were innumerable amounts of greens and reds, yellows, blues. People picking up fruits and vegetables and weighing them with their hands. There were fish encased in trays of ice that were for sale, fresh from the water. They added to the lingering scent of brine that was in the air. I breathed deeply the smell salt, the scent that was a glimpse of perpetual life at sea. I walked as I had been walking that entire day, but the more the wind blew the perfume of the ocean into my face, the lighter my physical existence became to me. I was getting closer to the home of my soul.

Venders on the wharf searched with pleading eyes and incessantly tried to connect their vision with passerby in hopes they could seduce them into buying their makes. I shoved my way past them and began heading away from the cluster of people, of souls made of bone and of unseeing eyes. 

To the sea I went; the world so close and far from the wharf and its breed of people. its waves would call and speak to me as though I was a child that had been wayward for too long, causing it to worry in a maternal manner. I stared into the vastness apologetically, wishing things could be different. I wished that I could become one with it, breathe the way that it did, have blood made of salt and thoughts consisting of brine. 

To be born and live only to fall pray to admiration of something all consuming seemed an ill fate to me. I was strained from watching everything around myself and my life deteriorate while the ocean stayed so pure and unaffected. I was tortured by my obsession with it and my conscious effort to sever most things that weren't in relation to it. The people that had surrounded me on the wharf were much the same as each other and oh so different from myself. They all had a purpose that was right for them, a lifestyle that they could claim necessary and that would give them cause to project contempt upon those who did not follow. I wanted naught to do with them, I wanted to be consumed by the sea as much as it consumed me; entirely.

To send my self home; a requirement so familiarly unsettling, for I could feel the sand and the humid air caressing my face so selfishly. To return to my life of tame stability, of stifled unnatural lighting and homely debris; it was an alteration of the day that I couldn't stand to face. So I watched the fishing boats proudly fetching back unto the shore, individuals within them preparing to return to their wives and hungry children. 

I said goodbye to the water and goodbye to the sand. I turned my face from the expanse that would haunt me all the way home, that would someday swallow me from within in one final breath. I passed through the layers of the wharf on my way home, the vendors having gone home with their meager successes. The sun had long since gone down, bringing the chill of the ocean to the atmosphere and into my bones. Lights were near and hanging from poles of silver, the darkness of the clouds provided a prominence to them that the blue of daylight would never dare to attempt. I wanted to weep as the heaviness of my footsteps carried me farther from the edge of the water and closer to the evidence of human life. To be one, only to be one with the waves and the solace of the ocean. To be something so mysterious and unfathomable; it was something I knew myself as undeserving, something I could hardly stand the pain to think of on my way home upon passing the entrance to the wharf.

© 2012 Scarlett-Helena

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Full of poetry and lyricism, a delightful read. There is a deep yearning for freedom in a lot of the metaphor anvil a sadness to the overall piece. A misplaced feeling you are trying to make available again. Excellent.

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on April 4, 2012
Last Updated on April 4, 2012
Tags: sea, ocean, salt, sand, brine, food, waves, wharf, prose, lights, darkness, clouds, wind, faces, clothes



San Jose, CA

I'm Scarlett, it's nice to meet you! I'm from California I'm 25 years old. I dislike talking about myself so I let my mind and body be discovered through countless writings. I enjoy and require .. more..