Outside Online Archives

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, November 1999 Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Sixty days have passed since the crew and I began the arduous ocean voyage home. It is said of our country that the cherry trees are in bloom—and we long for the welcoming stillness of the siroccos, to say nothing of the taste of plain old sweetbreads. But it is possible we shall never enjoy those simple pleasures again. The men once more look gaunt and pale, though our supplies of windburn makeup and artificial beards are growing scarce.

We are hungry and I think dying. As a restorative, the crew has taken to swimming with exotic finned creatures that follow our craft. I am cheered by the sudden arrival of even larger fish—"greyfins," we fondly call them—that, judging from their immense size and lifeless, black eyes, will revive the men's spirits even more. This afternoon, the entire company shall dive in to frolic with them. I am confident the greyfins will not outpace us, as they tend to swim in furious circles.

It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. Should we perish on the journey, these rough words will have to tell the tale.

For God's sake, look after our people.

Also, my goldfish. Look after my goldfish.

Marshall Sella, a former Outside editor, is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine.

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