Watched over by the universe through the blackness, life continued busy as ever at this port. A place in its prime, it was rarely ever quiet, occupied by an everchanging crowd of people going about their slices of life, what was important to them and nobody else. Among these face was David who’d arrived straight off a boat that had stopped here only 15 minutes earlier from cargo voyages across the world. To some people, David was yet another person from a faraway land, arriving on the waves. To others, he wasn’t even that – maybe just another faceless figure moving through. But that’s not who he was to himself. He mattered in this moment and on the flipside, nobody in this crowd mattered to him.
As he slowly sauntered forward, a man in an old brown suit bumped into him. David briefly looked and absentmindedly uttered “sorry” as the man apologised quickly as well and continued rushing through the crowd and out of sight. That person didn’t really matter either. Looking at the port with well-rested eyes, he saw a place he would likely remember for a long time. Even here, the buildings stretched skyward. From the ground to the stairs leading up to pathways out of sight to every building in the distance, the lights stood out particularly, lighting up entire crowds, watching over in much the same way the stars were. Almost complementary to the night. Still busy. David enjoyed ports of call. Even if he had plenty of room on the ship he worked on, it was nice seeing new places and new people (even if he wouldn’t remember any of them.) The sea was calming…it got a little boring sometimes though; a constant drone in both sight and sound.
Of course, he was only 24; he was only beginning his career. Bright eyes. Bright places. His whole life was ahead of him. Sometimes he wondered if was a good thing that he didn’t have a wife. He’d probably be leaving her at home a lot, being at sea a lot. For a moment, he wondered if he’d ever meet one at a port. His train of thought was briefly interrupted by a somewhat tall man in a long black coat greeting with a friendly “Hi there!”. Some people other than David had time to be friendly too, it seemed. He raised his hand, smiled and reciprocated with “Hi!” and once again, the other person also vanished into the crowd. He heard a voice behind him calling his name, with a slight degree of urgency. He turned around to see his chief officer walking towards him, still in full work clothes. A fair few years older than he was, slightly rougher personality, but he could have worse superiors.
“Where do you think you’re going? Look, this is a port of call, but you still have work to do. Don’t walk off like that.” David’s sense of wonder was temporarily put on hold to deal with reality. “I was just looking around. I wasn’t going to walk off.” “You sure looked like you were going to wander off and get lost in that crowd.” “I’m sorry. I suppose I should get to work on maintenance. But can I at least stay out here for five more minutes?” “Five minutes. That’s it. Look, you’re a bright-eyed worker, but sometimes you’re a bit absent-minded. That’s all. You have to keep your head in reality sometimes.”
And with that, he walked off back to the ship with the same sense of urgency he’d walked here with. David once again turned around to take in the sights and sounds of a busy port in the nighttime. “David!” His heart skipped a beat. Had he done something wrong? “We’ll be here for a week longer than we thought. The engine is in pretty bad shape, more than we thought. You’ll have more time to…do whatever it is you were doing a few minutes ago. OK?” He responded with a slightly unsure nod crossing over into a confident nod. He had only a week in the future but right now he only had five minutes.
He had no problem with his works but few places he visited put him in this trance-like state. David uttered yet another “sorry” as a rather unconcerned woman knocked into him, pushing him back a step or two. He didn’t even know if she apologised or not. Everyone here seemed to be in a rush. He wondered why. It would be better to go slowly and see the sights this city had to offer. Before he knew it he realised it was time to get to work. Slowly sauntering to the engine room, still deep in thought. Of course, still he had his life ahead of him.