I'm on anisland 12 miles off the coast of Maine. It's morning. Overcast. Cool. Out mywindow, I can see the island's small yacht club-the numerous sailboats and thegray, old docks, alive in their subtle treading of water, resting on the chestof the tide, like my lady friend laying her head on my breast as I breathe.But so much for tender thoughts. How easily distracted is a man: a young girlon the docks just tossed her dark ponytail in a fetching way. My male eye takesher in. Evaluates. Salivates. She smiles. Beautiful. A comely, budding figure.She and several other young girls and boys seem to be involved in some kindof sailing class, getting their boats ready, following instructions, puttingon orange life preservers.
The yachtclub has one main, brown-shingled building and on top, furling and unfurling,is the American flag, like a bed sheet, like a sail sheet. So there's a goodbreeze and it's low tide. I can see through the clear, lapping water to thebottom, a bottom littered with thousands of mussels. Another girl, a towhead,bends over in her khaki shorts. I like that. Farther out I see a red sailboat.It looks rather noble with its red belly. Through my window comes the smellof the ocean and the smell of gasoline from the motorboats. The odors of harborseverywhere. Romantic smells. The dark ponytailed girl is out in her boat. Setting off. She turns her head quickly to the right and left, trying to catch the wind.Back and forth goes the ponytail. In the far distance, I can see the dark greenand light green pine trees of another island. There are hundreds of islandsoff the coast of Maine. I didn't know this before. The class sails off to theright, out of my view. Goodbye sweet sailor. Young breasts bound in orange vests.Now an old, large schooner goes proudly by, its prow, like a regal chin, tilteda little upward.