Once he got used to it it didn't seem so bad, only lonely, far lonelier than he ever had imagined. At first he felt his heart like a falling anchor until it stuck, caught on a bone or rock deep in the muck and hooked there, steadying him. For awhile he was comforted by the distant light of a woman's eyes scanning over the estuary like the sheriff's searchlight. After a time that too grew familiar and vaguely distant like the ache of the anchor within him. Then he became slowly aware of the damp smells of the shore, lilacs and the metallic smell of blood, musk, clove, a faint odor of fuel oil. Something else, the powdery smell of the girl who haunted it and the sweet, indistinct rot of the log where she waited for him.

Lonely, far lonelier than he imagined.

He pulled the water over him like a blanket and slept, anchored in the gaze of an unknown woman and the girl who loved him.