“Dip your toes in the water” she spoke, almost a whisper, like a prayer to a mere mortal. The warm July wind hummed across the the Cote d’Azur, singing softly through the trees. He stared pensively to the blue, hesitant to offer any response. Still, she prayed once more:
“Dip, just try it, dip, dip your toes in the water”. Her call was sweet, and despite her beauty, she was no siren, there was no temptress tone in her words.
The pain was still too great. The fear, crippling. For dipping would lead to heels, heels to which his head would fall over too quickly.
Her soft fingers traced down his sunbrown back. Sand stuck to his lightly sweated neck. Flinching, he was unable to dissuade her hearts call to touch.
“Just a toe” she whispered.
His cheek flinched, the sun sparkling rays of warmth into his otherwise cold soul. His raised arm over his face no match from the glare from the blue. He shifted, nestling under the protection of the vine, shielding, as if it were, from the warmth. Her words resonated. Echoed. Bounced off the walls of his heavily guarded heart. Still, her hand gently persistent, tracing ‘eternity’ around his squared, pensive shoulders.
“One dip, it’s all I ask” sweetness permeated from her lips. He wondered, picking his salt-dried lips, wondered, wondered, wondered why. The pain gripped him around the throat one more time, angrily choking the wonder from his mind.
He remembered the cruel sea. He remembered the pain of the dark blue. The storms. The angry wind, the viscous waves. The grave of the deep reaching his angry hand to drag him down. The siren of the water, that whore, promising pleasure, leaving him shipwrecked, alone, adrift.
Still, he wondered.
She stared out across the Mediterranean. Her fingers, massaging the nape of his neck, prying the anger away from his throat. Her warm fingers. Twirling a lock. Tracing the bones of his spine. Being.
They hadn’t spoken since her proclamation in Marseilles, since he shut down, wondering why she would ruin what they had with something so reckless as love. His broken heart still clenched tight, he angered at why she would dare. Why she would be so foolish as to entrust such a thing in him. Still, her fingers lingered.
“Try me” she implored once again “Just dip your toe in, just once” her words, reassuring, her repetition comforting. He found himself inching towards the thought.
He trained his eyes on the sea. The white caps of the waves, the boats rocking like distant metronomes on the water. He felt the tempest recede inside of him. He wondered, just wondered.
“Dip your toe in the water, my darling, dip it in the water, with me” her voice once again gently persistent like the incoming tide, coming up to meet him, to meet his shore.
The storm still stirred, yet he turned, turned towards her. Her eyes deep as the blue before him, he mustered a squint and a smile
“I’ll dip my toe in the water, I’ll dip it with you”.
Image from http://swim-in-the-sea-count-the-stars.tumblr.com/post/112132247487
Now a lot of my feminist readers (thanks Germaine) got all in a huff that the ladies didn’t have flags to wave in a relationship. My last post certainly saw a chorus of interesting opinions from both guy and gal. So to keep the ladies included, I’ve derived a set of equally usable and apt nautical flags that the ladies can use to communicate key thoughts, feelings, needs and emotions to their special gentleman friends.
You need to understand, however, that a guy will use a flag to communicate a simple, specific meaning. The ladies on the other hand – much more difficult. So I’ve tried to distil the ladyflags down to the key messages that I hope you gals would want to communicate to your gentleman lovers. I’ll still keep the original nautical code, for context.
So, here goes:
Nautical code: I am taking in, discharging, or carrying dangerous cargo
Relationship code: This flag is aptly named, in nautical themes, the ‘red flag’. If a gal waves it to you, it means she’s, well, its that time. The dangerous cargo referred to could be anything from a kilo of chocolate to a box of tissues (deadly in the wrong hands)
Nautical Code: “Yes” or “affirmative”.
Relationship code: When a gal waves the ‘Charlie’ flag, it usually means ‘yes’. But it might not. It could mean ‘I dare you too’. Or ‘Yes, but if you do, you can get used to the couch. So it’s a yes, but it often has certain, unstated (or unflagged) caveats.
Nautical Code: I am maneuvering with difficulty; keep clear
Relationship Code: I’m driving a manual, stay off the footpath
Nautical Code: I am disabled; communicate with me.
Relationship Code: Something is wrong, but I don’t want you to fix it. I know you can fix it quickly, but that’s not the issue. I don’t want you to fix it. Yes I’m crying but it does not mean that anything is really that wrong, I just need to cry. I need to talk about it. For a long time. Shut up, I’m talking to you.
Nautical Code: I require a pilot.
Relationship Code: It did not look like this on the map. This is one of those times when I don’t just want to talk about it, I need you to help me find my way out of the city. Yes, that means come and get me.
Nautical Code: I have a pilot on board.
Relationship Code: My mum is driving with me. We had a lovely chat and somehow ended up on the wrong side of the river.
Nautical Code: Coming alongside
Relationship Code: I just want to cuddle. That’s all. Absolutely all.
Nautical Code: I am on fire and have dangerous cargo; keep clear.
Relationship Code: I’m moody and I don’t know why and everything you do is going to annoy me and my tummy feels sore and I just need chocolate and oh honey please give me a hug and geeze you are annoying me and why isn’t there any chocolate in the fridge and geeze no I don’t want to talk about it and I was saving that last cornetto for tonight and why do you have to be so annoying and ughhh! Can’t you just be quiet and watch Greys Anatomy with me but whip down and get some chocolate for me?
Nautical Code: I wish to communicate with you.
Relationship Code: I want you to tell me what I told you, except in a deep, manly voice so my idea sounds good and rational.
Nautical Code: You should stop your vessel immediately
Relationship code: Why don’t guys ever ask for directions! You should have stopped at that service-station and asked for directions!
Nautical Code: No or negative
Relationship Code: Definitely no. Most definitely no. Don’t even dream about it.
Nautical Code: Man overboard.
Relationship Code: If you do go out with your mates, don’t come home. Ever.
Nautical Code: Do not pass ahead of me
Relationship Code: What do you mean you will meet me at the restaurant? You are not going to pick me up from my house?
Nautical Code: You are running into danger.
Relationship Code: You are WAY PAST running into danger. Danger was minutes ago. You are way past that point. Keep digging. (Often given with ‘the look’)
Nautical Code: I require assistance.
Relationship Code: There’s something creepy crawly in my room and you need to get it out. Yes I know it’s past midnight. Yes I know you are 20 minutes away.
Nautical Code: I require medical assistance.
Relationship Code: Don’t even think about coming over until you have brought chocolate.
Nautical Code: Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals
Relationship Code: I’ll tell you when it’s time for ‘cuddles’ and no, it won’t be before the end of Downton Abbey.
Nautical Code: I require a tug
Relationship Code: I’ve broken down and I don’t know how to change the tyre and I don’t want to call the autoclub cause the guys are creepy and strange and I don’t like them and they’ll be hours and can’t you just please come and change my tyre. Oh and bring me some chocolate?
So gals… Do you think it’ll take off, or should I start running?