There’s rum on his breath, rum and coffee, and the wind hits his face in this early morning speed with the smell of brackish water palms and mangroves sliding through the small opening of this cracked window. The radio is on but the prevalent sound is just the humming of the tires on asphalt down the road, with a small variation of strumming from the stereo but mainly a hum. The half cup of coffee vibrates from the kissing of the asphalt and tire, and slowly in sips it numbs the wind that batters his face and calms the trembling steering wheel holding hands. Smoothly it all calms, the scariness, the voices, the wind. In sips he reaches the ocean, in sips becoming less sad now standing knee deep. In calmness of the giant saltwater windless lake and the crisp cracking cold of being its first morning companion. At times strangers pass in Jon boats in spearheaded direction. In slow wakes that wave past the line of cold he’s gotten used. There’s no more coffee anymore and his feet begin to feel cold, and the realization slowly creeping within him brings back the trembling hands. The ocean is still with the smell of rum still creeping on his upper lip. The scariness in open water begins to creep around in feeling though he knows he’s completely alone. There’s a feeling running through his trembling hands and the air, it swims around, creeping inside slowly with the open emptiness left by what the smell of mangroves used to hold. Slowly before the panic embraces he begins to walk back to the dry coarse shore where his bag hangs from a low laying palm. Just the thought starts to calm him. With every step less fear, less noise and tremble. Inside the bag there’s calm.

He takes a long swallow and says, “The mangroves smell so fresh this early in the morning. What a calm sight of sea this is, gentle and crisp. No fear should ever hold me.”

With the rum back in him and with the fear far below his feet he begins to walk back out into the water. No fear should hold him, not right now, not for a while. He walks back to knee deep water, to the same spot back in calmness where the water touches his thighs.

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