You could tell Zen was a seasoned traveler. He wore a dull gray wool scarf that wrapped loosely around his neck. Tiny fibers sprung out from all directions as if the scarf was trying to shed its hairy exterior coat. His hair was wild and tangled with sea salt and seaweed. Like most spirits he usually wore a pair of sunglasses but in the dimly lit pub they were clipped onto the scarf. His overcoat used to be dark green but weather had worn it to a dull brownish color.
The skin on his face was dry and cracked. Some cracks ran so deep they could be mistaken for scars or wrinkles. His eyes were a deep dark brown but his intensity was offset by his seemingly laid back nature and a habit of carrying a thin smile on his face. He liked to talk with his hands and you could tell that they too were worn from the countless blisters. All in all he seemed like a hard working honest man.
I was then introduced to another traveling companion.
"Hello, my name is Alex but my friends and family call me a Lost Soul." I wanted to ask him some personal questions but instead I asked Zen for the price of the venture. He replied that it was pay as you go service and the rate that he offered sounded reasonable. I decided to accept the offer when Alex informed me that Zen was setting sail early tomorrow morning. A traveler without a destination is rare and adventure awaits.
Zen then proposed that we go down to the docks and examine the vessel that we would be traveling in. She was a fairly large one-man sailing ship and in much better condition than the owner of the ship. The words scrawled on her hull were still bold and clear. In the faint light of the docks you could make out the words "The Dream".
Since my arrival in this small port town I have picked up a few terms of sea travel however, I must admit that my understanding of sea-faring vessels is limited. My new companion does not seem to be in any rush as to give me a tour or explain the inner workings of the vessel like most other sailors are. From my limited knowledge I believe that "The Dream" is purely powered by wind as I cannot see any kind of turbine system in the back. However, you can never be too certain with a vessel that belongs to a spirit. They are quite famous for inventiveness and ingenuity and I have heard many stories. However, I have only met one other in my life and she traveled on an umbrella powered apparently by her own force of will.
Zen snapped me out of my train of thought by recommending that I pack tonight and sleep on "The Dream" so that I may get my sea legs sooner. He told me he had restocked the vessel and only had a few luggage bags left in the nearby motel. Zen then told me that sleeping on the ship the night before casting off is tradition and he too will be sleeping on "The Dream" in the captain quarters. I think that sleeping on "The Dream" is a marvelous and amusing idea and I asked Zen where I would be sleeping. It was only after I had asked that question that he invited me onboard.
The deck of the ship as well as the guest quarters below deck were just as well maintained as the exterior of the ship. It was obvious that throughout Zen's travels various repairs had to be made as some portions of the ship were obviously more aged than other portions. Below deck there resided large boxes of supplies awaiting the journey. They were crammed close together and one had to squeeze past the large boxes to reach the guest room. One mattress was quite old and worn down; not from use but from time and smelled distinctly like the ocean. The other, I guessed, had just been replaced because it had a lively spring to it as well as that new mattress smell.
After the tour Zen asked me if I was still going on the venture. I laughed and replied if he asked again I might just change my mind.
With that we went our separate ways; me to my home and him to his motel. We went different ways in order to accomplish the same purpose. And afterwards we would reconverge to the place where we had gone our separate ways. I'm sure Zen would have something to say on how a cycle begins only to end at the start and the continuum of imperfectness but I am not Zen. You'll have to ask him yourself what he thinks.
My house is not a terribly large and I've been told that it is somewhat empty. I have not been here for all that long and still in the middle of furnishing this place. Perhaps I haven't been terribly proactive in making this home. I knew I moved here for the purpose of going somewhere else.
When we got back the ship both Zen and Alex were there to greet us. He told us to store our belongings below deck and since it was getting late we soon said our goodnights. We made our way through the crates once again to the guest rooms. Once we got there the only thing standing between us and sleep was the decision of which mattress we were to sleep on.
I turned to Alex and said "Don't take this the wrong way but I don't think I know you well enough for us to sleep together. Rock, paper, scissor best out of one for tonight and then we'll switch off? Ok ready... set shoot. You know I never did understand why paper beats rock. Looks like I'm sleeping on the the water-bed. Goodnight."
And despite the mattress being worn, saggy and looking like melting cheese; I soon drifted off into dreamland inside "The Dream".