A Boatsailor's Angel

by Bob 'Dex' Armstrong

Her name is Joy… She is the 'Tigerflower' of a previous tale in this endless, mindless linkage of nonsense. She married the other guy… Smart move on her part, unbelievable luck on his part.

Joy is the ideal of gentle womanhood. God blessed her with a radiant smile that lights up a room and instantly puts you at ease. She is happily married to a wonderful fellow who doesn't mind her staying in touch with an idiot sandbox pal of yesteryear… And she reads this stupidity on the installment plan.

Joy and her family regularly took in a stray dog boatsailor who turned up on her doorstep smelling like three weeks on the snorkel and hauling a bag of laundry that should have been burned or mailed to a sewage processing plant.

She fed this undeserving bum and provided a couch or cleen sheets. She never understood what clean sheets and a hot shower meant to a single after battery rat.

I know that God has a designated place where the girls who took in orphans from the smoke boat service, fed them home cooking… Let them run up their hot water bills and sleep in real 'no bunk chains' beds. When you arrive in Heaven… That is if God doesn't hold smoke boat service against us… If we get there, Joy will be the beautiful angel parked on the fluffiest cloud.

First loves endure… The ones forged in the delightful innocence of youth… The ones where the girls were incased in multiple laminations of petticoats, smelled like flower gardens and wore that 'get the stuff all over you' bright red lipstick. You have your vision of beauty of that period and I have Tigerflower. I wouldn't trade.

She was the first of what I consider to be close friends, to welcome my Norwegian bride to this country… That alone put me in her eternal debt.

I think she has long forgiven a twenty-year old idiot who stood an eight-hour maneuvering watch after a northern run and hitch-hiked through the night to attend her wedding. The unsuspecting kid who got loaded at the reception… Got knee-walking, commode-hugging blasted… Missed the tossed garter and called for her panties. Then, had to sober up enough to thumb rides back… To make underway quarters and load for sea Monday morning. He was young… Not too bright and needed a lot of forgiveness.

Thinking back, if the kid could have dropped down the after battery hatch and been able to toss a pair of lace panties on his bunk and say,

"Had a GREAT weekend!"

It would have eliminated a helluva lot of those,

"Hey Dex, how was your weekend?" inevitable questions.

Joy… The picture is for you. In the shape he was in, he would have probably missed your underpants, too.