12-08-14

The sailor dropped the bottle from his hand. He looked across the white expanse of snow and saw a sign. Its once pristine surface was now cracked and pitted where metal had encountered too much oxygen. He saw flaws that could fracture at the slightest blow. The sign was wider than it was high by a measure the sailor could not calculate. He could not see the thing to which it was affixed. The background surface was white, obscured by snow. He had the sense of a container in the way the light fell across the dazzling background. He wondered at the words embossed upon the sign. NOT TO DROP MORE THAN 5 CWT. Another sailor flashed before his eyes, cowering beneath the shadow of a large wooden mallet. A heavy load, a weight, a pressure. A pounding and a whiteness. All things are made to bear a certain amount of pressure. All things have the strength to push so far, and no further. The temptation, he seemed to understand, was to build up steam and drop a pressure greater than can be borne. This, he seemed to feel, was to be avoided. A two-fold harm and a twin destruction.

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