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73

I saw her again today, but I didn't get too close. We were supposed to go out together back in February but I had that optic neuritis stuff and couldn't make it. Tomorrow, though, we'll start a whole week together.

It's been a year since I left her, and doggone it, I still get excited when I see her, even from a distance. I'd know her anywhere. I can't help but let my gaze rove over her sleek curves, can't help but admire her proud brow, can't help but look for any detail that might have changed since the last time I saw her....

She's in my blood and I think she stole part of my soul. Those five years she and I were together were the most intense of my life. She gave me a whole lot in return, too. Without her, I wouldn't have learned so many of the things I didn't even realize I needed to know.

I shed a hundred thousand tears with her, and laughed as many laughs with her too. Being with her was like riding a roller coaster in the dark.

Even now, miles away, the smell of her is with me.

She is beautiful and terrible, and given the chance she'd seduce me away from my family again.

It's true. Sailors belong on ships, and ships belong at sea. God help me, I am a sailor.

And I get a whole week underway with my former mistress, one of the finest ships in the Navy.

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