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Rock Street, San Francisco

A searing mirage of dazzling colours jolted me awake. This
wasn’t the first time I was dragged from uneasy rest, and certainly wouldn’t be
the last. My back, contorted, ached so painfully as to cause me to endure in a
state of half awake, half asleep dreariness only interrupted by the undulating
waves. My only haven was when I closed my eyes and entered the abyss ever so
briefly tasting freedom in exchange for the light. Trying to slip back into
unconsciousness only got harder and harder as the profound hunger in my stomach
twisted like a drowning serpent; this was only going to get worse and I knew
it. Food had to be around somewhere. I began pulling myself up with the support
of dry and decayed wooden support bars only lightly feeling splinters scrape
against my right shoulder. Dizziness follows me up and fleetingly I echoed the
seas jaunty movement almost comically entering the ocean with out means of
return. Despite previously being a venerable sailor man, such a simple task as
pulling myself out of the water would be one too great. A pitiful sight
certainly. A damp box loosely stuck to the front end of the craft glistened
like treasure its contents however did the contrary; Mouldy bread, Crackers
which looked like cardboard and only two bottles of water. I didn’t want to eat
them now, but I would later.

It was nice at dusk, a cool breeze, and clouds to defend
against the weakened sun. The sea was calm and as if a shadowy mass swallowed the
horizon, light began to fade. Soon it was so dark I couldn’t see my own hands
in front of me. Now that was unusual. Thoughts began to emerge, was I sleeping?
Was I unconscious? Was I dead? There was no way for me to find out, so I
settled for pondering dreams of being rescued or given a second chance to
correct imprudent mistakes. It wasn’t long before the small breaks in this
nightmare began to crumble and reality came crashing in. Rolling waves threatened
to capsize the boat multiple times while a gale of hail pelted me from the
blackened heaven. I knew this was real as I lay frozen desperately huddled
between a rusty nail and a sodden blanket. Lightning blinded me while thunder drowned
out the sound of me scrambling to save one of the bottles of water. I didn’t
make it.

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Over the next few days the cheap plastic bottle became a
salvation, each drop sacred and precious. I always wanted more but I had to
have less and less. The food disappeared quickly and while I mourned it, the
vultures surely laughingly mourned me. I remember each bite like a sanguine
dream. Movement at the corner of my eye drew me away as lonely hysteria took
over an already corroded mind. Clambering to my feet exhausted me and my
mortality was elucidated in that second. I was waiting to die. The sea in its
ever so vastness called to me. Its surface a reflection of what was to come, death;
never ending and always present, deep, and infinite, and most of all certain.

Dreams no longer came, instead replaced by nightmares. Crawling
vestiges of land and hope came forth from a lacerated sea of blood. Sulphurous air
filled my lungs and burned my eyes. This hell served as a faintly enjoyable
distraction from the eternally taunting sea.

Waking up came as a disappointment. The sky low and thick
seemed to isolate me further as claustrophobia settled in like a plague knowingly

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