Deep Sea Diva-Digital Collage 4" x 6"

The hardest thing about being out at sea for three to four months at a time is not seeing my analyst. In a pinch, I'll turn to the Skipper.His combination of salty irasibility and Jungian interpretation has been of great comfort to me in my darker moments. Though Dr. Meyerhoff is a strict Freudian, he and the Skipper concur that I need to focus on understanding my attraction to aloof, unattainable women. The haughtier her demeanor, the more I demean myself. I spend small fortunes on flowers and chocolates hoping to woo these women possessed of such cruel beauty. All these gestures never yield me so much as a glimmer of recognition. On an intellectual level, I understand that the worlds of deep sea salvage and high society are separated by an almost unbridgeable abyss. Still, my heart tells me otherwise.

This morning I unburdened myself to the Skipper. He used his usual approach—which is to hasten my awareness with a series of curses, a swat on the head with his hat and a reminder of the Ice Queen archetype from Norse mythology. This brings me some momentary peace and it is usually at such times that he sends me overboard to scour wrecks for treasure.

Feeling calm and clear headed I descended, confident that I would find something of value in next to no time. Moving through the lower deck of the sunken frigate, I glimpse movement on my left. I turned and saw her: a vision in brass and thermal rubber. Her heavily painted eyelids and crimson lips beckoned me. I took out my slate and grease pencil and in my most charming script wrote: "Hello." She looked me up and down, picked up her slate and wrote, "Hold this acetylene tank for me." Infatuated I complied. She breezed past me in a weighted down underwater sort of saunter and went about cutting out rivets on the door to the Captain's quarters. When she finished, she handed the torch to me. She stepped into the berth and emerged with a small treasure chest. I walked up to her and wrote: "Would you like to get together for a drink?" She raised her eyebrows, pushed me aside and a moment later disappeared in a shroud of bubbles and murk.

I resurfaced with nothing more than a few stray pieces of silverware. The Skipper unbraided me for my paltry findings. He asked why I hadn't found more. I confessed my encounter on the sea floor. He gave me a look of both profound disappointment and outrage. After striking me again with his hat, he asked if I had learned nothing from our morning session. I guess I can understand his reaction, but I think this time is different. This is the girl for me.