That I have hoisted my sail to all the winds – it’s the plan I always had – to get to the sea, to get to the sky and to get away from all this. But the sails on this boat, and my will, should be just enough with fuel and muscle and a little cash to get away.

But who has fuel any more, who has cash. Muscle is no problem, but fuel and cash for the journey – hoisting the sail isn’t done by will alone but by planning and backing and bribing and scheming. 

All the compromises that make up a life, that make up the journey from mama’s teat to the last breath, the last swallow, the last look – surely my bootstraps. But no, there is no individual initiative, no matter what the history books say. You do the work and you get the blisters and someone always looks at you and says, ‘No, you’ll always be Thing X, no matter how many Things Y you think you can achieve. Unless I give the nod, unless I say the word, all your initiative, all the sacks and rope, all the lumber you can carry, all the nails you can bend – all those things are mine alone.’ 

And so I hoist and hoist for some other bastard, who is obviously more legitimate than me – he can show titles going back centuries and all I have is a birth certificate with empty spaces and a few coins and skills all the aristocracy together couldn’t muster – skills developed one by one over decades of putting all the pieces together and putting all those pieces to work and even the overseers can’t budge me, now matter their job descriptions and sidearms and so, I go down to the shipyard, survey the work of the other hands, the gleaming hulls, paid for by who knows what, and I look at all the ships, all lined up and I look at the guard towers and the gunners guarding the ships of the wealthy and the ships of the government and wonder if all my ingenuity, all my work, all my skill will get me past them.