The crew of ****** all hide their own secret loneliness. At every port the deserted dance halls beckon, and there they dance with familiar ghosts. At twelve midnight sharp the spirits disappear along with the tuxedoed band and the music dies leaving red white and blue tinsel, miniature plastic flags, and balloons that glide and bounce to a solitary, prolonged note. The sailors cease spinning and their arms drop to their sides. They drown in bottles of *** in search of solace. They rarely find barely a taste. And so, in frustration they fight and draw first and last bloods. Now, in scuffed shoes and torn clothes, with damaged pride, they stagger arm in arm back to ship. The water laps and licks it’s tongue like a cat at cream and the crew whisper breath rings in the chilly air. Master Chief Petty matron mother waits on deck, rolling pin in hand, kicking backsides into cabins. The ship bobs and dips in rhythm to sailors heaving snoring chests, and there they sleep, fly catching open mouthed, hugging their pillows in desert island dreams.