Just a dollop of my daisies…written in the winter of 2008
The USS Secretarian woke for her first time. She surveyed her surroundings, all new and somehow intriguing. How was it that she became here? What was to become her purpose? She wondered these things as she realized her current placement in a large warehouse surrounded by other ships similar to her. “Where are we?” she asked the closest ship to her, though no response was rendered. “Is anyone there?” she implored, still no answer. Evaluating herself, she noticed that she appeared almost identical to the others that sat in silence around her. Why, then, do they not respond to my pleas she wondered. Sleep then overtook her thoughts, and the world became dark.
When she awoke from her slumber, the other ships were gone. She sat alone, inside a large glass bottle and anchored by two posts on her base. She began to evaluate herself in detail. Her sails, broad and majestic, built to catch the slightest of breeze and transform it into endless force. Her masts were made of unbending steel. She knew, somehow, that they would be able to withstand the strongest forces of nature without burden. Every plank on her pristine deck had been forged to understand the nature of the sea and become one with its waves. Her bough, built with the ability to command the open waters and dominate the ocean like none before her, ached for the saturation of her life at sea. She knew at once that she was not like the other ships that she laid beside when last she woke. She had been made different, special somehow. That is why they did not respond, she thought, they had not been built with the ability to think as I. I was calling out to lifeless heaps of wood and metal. But why was I built different? I must be destined for greatness. This thought excited the Secretarian to no end, the prospect of endless journeys on the open seas with the ability to command them as no other of her kind. She understood the currents, the behavior of the water. She knew how to command it to her bidding. She had been constructed to manipulate the ocean and rule as its queen. With this thought she drifted into a gleeful slumber, hoping that when she woke for her third time she would be able to view her kingdom.
The days passed for the USS Secretarian, unmoved from her glass boundaries. Quite diligent she was, though, to maintain her daily self-diagnostics. Keeping all of her systems and spaces at full potential, she was prepared for her day at sea; whenever it may be. For what seemed like years she dreamed of the open waters, and practiced her hidden potentials so that she would remember how to use them. Images of currents and waves detailed in mathematical equations, the song of her sails to all four winds that would fill her with energy and motion; but each day brought the same glass bottle and wooden anchors.
“Why have I lived in this glass bottle for so long?” she wondered. What is my purpose in this world? When will I be given the chance to breathe the fresh winds of the open seas as I was built to do? If this is my life, my reason, why was I given these abilities? Why was I not built like the lifeless wooden heaps that I remember from that first day? Why have I been placed in this bottle with the ability to dream of the world that I was built to conquer?
The USS Secretarian woke one dateless morning to find that one of her sails had loosened from its mast. Lifeless and windless, it lay draped on its side. It was that day that she realized that she had not been built for some lofty purpose. That perhaps, those who built her did not even realize her potential. That was why they doomed her to her glass prison, and bound her with the wooden anchors. They saw only her resemblance to the other ships in that warehouse. It was by accident that she could think. It was by mistake that her sails could call to the wind, and her bough could command the waves. She then wondered if those things that she knew about herself were true. She knew that her sails could beckon the breath of nature, but they never had. She was positive that she knew how to command the water’s behavior, but had never tried. She knew that she could think, because she had kept herself company all these years. But now her sail was broken, and her glass bottle stained by the wear of time. The USS Secretarian looked around her world with a strange resentment, closed her eyes, and fell asleep for the last time.