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Anyone else?

Saturday 1/14/23

There is a version of a tale you sometimes encounter in maritime narratives. A ship has gone down at sea. Many people are no more. The survivors--for the moment--cling to floating debris.

A ship is like a world--a floating world on an ocean. When the world is gone, everything is gone. Or that's what is generally supposed.

I'm not someone who thinks that way. I believe in a better ship.

In the water, there's a man all the others blame for the demise of their ship, their world. They want to kill this man. End this man.

He is not the cause of what happened--or, rather, it's not his fault. He did nothing pernicious to anyone. He did what he believed was his duty. He's a man who always answers to what that is, and the difference between right and wrong. A man who refuses to be a willing victim for anyone.

One of the people who wants the man dead swims over and attacks the man. Tries to kill him. The man who has been attacked pulls out a knife and sticks it through the belly of his attacker, who dies instantly. He pushes away the corpse, which sort of bobs with the waves.

The other people, who want this man dead, stare at him, and no one advances. Fear is written all over their faces. The man who was attacked, who has done nothing wrong, holds the knife in front of his own face.

"Anyone else?" he asks.

For he is a person who ultimately builds and captains a better ship.


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