“When you’re on watch, you watch.  You watch for junk floating in the water, you watch the boat, and you watch for other boats that might not have somebody on watch that maybe will run into you.  If something is wrong or you don’t know what to do you go get Uncle Ned.  It’s not complicated.

Except for the singing.  That gets a little weird.

‘Singing?’ Uncle Ned said, when I asked him about it, ‘Usually I hear talking.  I can never understand what they’re saying, though.’

‘But there really isn’t any singing, right?’ I asked.  I already knew the answer to that, but I couldn’t think of a better question.

‘No,” Uncle Ned said, smiling into his coffee.  ‘No, there’s no singing.’  His coffee was still too hot.  He sat back and stared at me until I looked back.  “You’ve got a good mind, you see patterns.’

‘Cause and effect…’ I said.  ‘Like we talked about last night.’

‘More than that,’ Uncle Ned said. ‘Your mind associates things that usually go together.  It tries to make sense of what’s going on around you.

‘The music doesn’t make sense,’ I said, because the music didn’t make sense.

‘Your mind will try to find patterns, even if they aren’t there.  It hears the engine and the wind and the water and the dishes rattling in the cabinets and your breathing and it tries to make sense of the noise. It tries to find the pattern. It your case, it turns it into music.’

‘Weird,’ I said.

‘Some people,’ Uncle Ned said, ‘don’t find patterns in the world.  They don’t notice that things happen together.  They don’t notice that you get wet when it rains.’

‘They don’t hear the music?’

Uncle Ned sipped his coffee.  It was still too hot.

‘Nope,’ he said.”

—-Excerpt from Jimi & Isaac 2a: Keystone Species, which may actually be written at some point.


In the Caribbean, if we were sailing at 9 at night, we’d almost always hear a thump and then smell something really fishy.  Then we’d look around and find the flying fish on deck.  Here in Mexico (especially a little farther north) there is no thump.

That’s because squid are squishy, at least until they sit in the sun for a day or so…

…leaking ink and leaving the dark stain of death on the deck.