Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. From afar, paradise is ever present, illumined by gleaming lights. Fantasies and ideals rush through their minds, suffusing their heads with avarice, yearning for cupidity. Despite the sentimentalizations of promising land far, far away, Granger couldn’t find it within himself to be bothered by a mere child’s dream.
He had lived an arduous life, Arien Granger. Abandoned by his parents in pursuit of a finer existence, the little boy grew from a petite sissy to an inured and acclimatized young adult and a seasoned anchor clanker. However, it’s to be expected. While other ship children had the luxury of gradually sinking their toes into the sea, Granger took the polar plunge at the ripe age of 5 in solitude. After all, the obstinate lad despised company of any sort, with the sole exception being his pocket-sized yet flamboyant parrot who slept on his stomach every night without failure.
“G’day, Pols,” he muttered wearily, to which the called bird blithely yapped back.
As Granger gazed wistfully into the interspace, a lustrous speck a little ways away caught his undivided attention. He snatched the telescope from a miniature rack, bringing the alloy up to his right eye. A lavis and extravagant vessel overflowing with milling crowds peered back at Granger, squatting uncomfortably in his simple rickety baby sailboat. A single memory seeped into his consciousness, awakening a piece of him he had grappled to keep under bandages for years.
“My dearest Arien, don’t you know the sailor’s tale of the white vessel named Opulence, the only ship in the entirety of the sea that radiates grandeur and magnificence to such a bewildering degree? It is said that if you sail your barque in a straight line towards it and pass through its many obstacles, the captain will grant you your greatest wish.”
“How do you know, mommy?”
“No man has ever achieved this feat to this day. All those who have tried have succumbed to the hardships of the journey. After all, it’s quite common that the grandest dreams in one’s life will forever be much too strenuous to achieve. But the feeling of reaching your purpose in life, that’s an unmatchable feeling, don’t you think so darling?”
With a newfound glint in his aquamarine eyes, Granger scuttled, unswayed by the viciously savage waves tossing his fragile dwarf watercraft, and raised the sails.
Perhaps his paramount desire was just a distance away.
Credits to Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” for the first line.