This is Our Life

Patrick Rever worked in the factory. He walked six miles prior to the sun slinking into view and stayed until it left. He had a satchel, which each night his wife put in a potato, an apple, two eggs, and water for the following day. Rever’s wake-up alarm wasn’t a rooster. Patrick Rever could look out, without a glance at his pocket watch for days, and correctly state the time being 2:15 in the afternoon. Rever’s eyelids were siamese with the time, for every morning at 4:30 a.m., they would slice open. Then the man would splash icy water drops upon his face, his eyes under-traced with blue-purple color, and with the satchel’s strap slung on his shoulder, slip out of the dead ranch, his wife frozen in bed.

Patrick Rever slumped through the still meadow. His lowered head was not because of the darkness-sheeted sky. Rever’s path was straight with no winding curves and twists. The meadows was a plank, and in it, contained no stubs or pricks which one’s foot could hit against and cause the owner on his face. No, Rever’s head was bit lowered because of the dark meadow, where the grass brushed his ankles. His head was lowered, because it was as though his energy was souped with thoughts and lifting his head would result in the thoughts streaming out of his mind. With a splinter of shut-eye, he would collapse onto the ground if it were not for knowing that with each completed week was another dime for his collection. Almost two hundred coins he had total, though he never counted, just added. He didn’t have the time, didn’t make it. The factory occupied his time. The factory was his life, a living for him and his wife.

In reality, his life was the factory, but Rever’s head stirred ideas of a desired life. Rich, happy, care-free, honorable, relaxed, in peace – those were general ideas of him, how he thought he should be, deserved to be. He would live along a bay with his wife and do nothing, not a damn thing. He concluded that if he saved enough money to live off the rest of his years, he could flick away the factory and listen to the waves rumbling.

The factory was consisted of repetitive tasks. Patrick Rever was to paste the seal over each jar as they passed in a moving line. “Can of Sweetened Peaches…Keeps for approx. five months after opening…Ingredients: Peaches, high fructose corn syrup, water, sugar, honey…$0.17.” Revers had it memorized.

The factory air was a fog of smoke, and there were heavy, fast-working machinery. By the time Patrick Revers saved enough coins to purchase a third of the boat’s exported peaches if he so wanted, he was thirty-eight and had eight fingers and an unexplained illness.

His days were resting on the sand, sometimes dipping his feet in. From his porch, he’d watch the sailors hauling in nets. He’d watch them glide away from the port and come back and tie the boat to the dock. Patrick Rever did nothing but wake up, eat, soak sun, watch the water, and sleep. It was a tranquil life, one without worry. The scoop of land cutting off the sea was the new factory. It was his life, his time.

Rever aged four years. In that time, he only relaxed. He liked how the sun warmed his shoulders, but he preferred seeing the sailors work in the salty waters. Some would pull in and scale fish. Some were crabbers. Some import goods, some export. A smidgen were explorers, plunging into the world for knowledge of other lands. The days Rever spotted explorers were like holidays, though he’d like to think of every day as a holiday.

His illness worsened. He fell away on his porch. His death was silent, his breaths slower until none. Patrick Rever’s last thought was while he was staring out at a boat. He thought, “I wish I was a sailor,” and then his life drifted out of him.

The explorers, oblivious to the man and his death, sang as they casted the lines:

“Here the water dances

As we dance along.

We do not work.

We never work,

Not once in our lives do we work.

This is what we do.

This is our love.

This is our life.

We do what we love.

We take on the mighty waters

And fight it and gain strength.

We travel in the darkness

And navigate through the blue,

Sailing on our ship.

We do not work.

We never work,

Not once in our lives do we work.

This is what we do.

This is what we love.

This is our life.”





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