I've trimmed my nails. Right down to the quick. I can't use them to grip anymore. They still catch, however, and the catching sets my teeth on edge.
On edge. How appropriate the phrase. Waiting. Poised. A death-defying balancing act, since I got on this huge wooden metaphor. This boat. To a new world.
I imagine it full of of clever men and women; Salons full of the revolutionary elite. People dashing about in the streets, crying on the corners, "World class inventions! Come see history in the making!"
Perhaps there will even be a girlfriend waiting for me! A bosom friend who will laugh with me and share tales! I shall plait her long, red hair and she will sing harmony. And talk about Romance! Oh, How I wish!
As soon as I was settled on the boat I thoroughly scanned the sailors, but there were all dirty, rough-hewn old men. Where is the doe-eyed rogue who is destined to steal my heart away? Some people. I have given up looking and instead torment the only passanger of interest. A boy who is travelling with his family. He is only a few months younger then me, but he is so dull! A slow-witted farm boy.
Speaking of dull. Sometimes I am terrified that I will die on this ship and never be allowed to leave! I will be forced to haunt it! Forever!! The creaking shall drive me mad!!! Every night! Every day! the rocking, creaking, tossing, spray noise! There is salt everywhere. What a pain! I thought, when I first envisioned my Grand Journey, that I would take daily, placid, walks around the pristine deck, admired by the dozens of attractive sailors, resplendant in my perfect, but breezy, frocks. My placid walks have become simple, once-round, neccessities, punctuated by mild seasickness. I wear only my most austere garb, and am rarely admired, but instead, leered at by the few lucky enough to have a brief moment. I'd never imagined a sailor's life so busy!
In juxtapose, mine is so empty. I while away the hours imagining my future husband. He will likely be at the port when we make land. I'm excited to meet him! I hope he is muscular and handsome! I should also like him to be tender and affectionate, however. What will I do if he is some kind of brute?
Speaking of brutes, my dinners with the captain have taken an astonishing turn. At the beginning he was very formal, always standing on ceremony, but lately he has regailed me with boistrous tales of far away lands. this man tells me of the exotic people he's met, the things he's done; some that polite people would faint upon hearing! He completely disgusts and repulses me, but I find myself drawn to it.
I don't want to tell anyone, but he's been filling my head with strange notions. He tells me that my arranged marriage should be my choice as well! That I am not my husband's property! He even tells me that I should have the right to study and learn anything I want! Even wear pants! I'm not sure what to think of it. Everything I am dictates that I plug my ears (delicately of course) and ignore his sinful suggestions, but I find an ember of defiance in my breast. It is small yet, but if fanned by the flames of his stories, and encouragement...who knows? I suppose just the fact that I write this is proof enough of his influence. Mother said I should not write, that it would over-exhaust me unduly and any heirs I produce would be sickly. I am terrified to think of stepping off this little path that has been neatly laid for me, but I ... want to. I do not know, yet, if there are great things in me, in truth, I don't think so. I am not so astounding that I would produce anything marvelous, but there is desire, in me, to carve out a little piece of the world for my own. To plant my flag and howl triumphantly.
I suppose time will tell what the world has in store for me...