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Venus For A Day

By Robin Rice

There are days you wake up and everything is right with the world. The sun shines across your boat, the wind whips through the hatches, and the day opens itself full of possibilities. There is no work to do, at least none you don't love. There are no worries, only a great sense of impending joy. If you are especially lucky, a man who thinks you are beautiful is still asleep below deck, his breath even, his exotic body half-covered in sheet.

I have not had a day like this in more than six months. And if you add the "especially lucky" part, I never have.

I am particularly disappointed today, because last night I went to bed praying to any god or goddess that exists to please, please, please let me wake up to a day that is different in any way from the one I had yesterday, and the day before that. And the day before that.

Perhaps, as I have long suspected, no gods or goddesses exist.

The stateroom hatch is still leaking. A stack of bills still sit in my microwave, without a sliver of hope of being paid unless I either find the motivation to re-varnish several of the smaller boats in my marina as promised or take yet another lump sum from my dwindling retirement portfolio. The answering machine is blinking with a message from my mother, no doubt reminding me yet again that quitting my corporate job to live on a boat was in terribly poor form for a Wellington woman. Especially when there is no man in my bed. Not even one snoring like a freight train, as Edward used to.

Espresso. At least there is espresso.

I move toward the galley, open the hatch to let the cloudy great outdoors in, and start to prepare a double shot. Waiting, I stare at the painting I have nearly finished of the Goddess Venus. She's not the voluptuous, fair-skinned maiden arriving on a clam shell, as Botticelli envisioned her in his famous painting. Instead, she's bone-thin and erupting out of a hacked-open can of pork and beans.

Don't ask me why I'm painting her at all, let alone in this way. I don't really know. All I can say for sure is that it lets me tell people I'm actually using my undergraduate art degree, and it is in keeping with the name of my boat, the Venus II. I imagine that they imagine that means I'm following some kind of long-lost dream. I'm not sure that's true, but it sounds good.

In front of me is my daily inspiration, the last card I received from Maja, my fellow MBA grad school roommate and then corporate teammate, right before her cancer ended both of our lives as we knew them. It says "Leap and the net will appear." It's framed, but I can recall exactly what it says inside. "Dearest Sydney, A.K.A. Sally: We've spent nine years together, brilliantly successful and absolutely miserable ~ except in those brief moments of perfection when we killed the bosses in racquetball. I'm leaving you the Venus II and the convertible. Get a life."

I sigh. No life, no Maja, and it's beginning to look like no net.

I make my way up the stairs to sit in my favorite spot of consolation, a padded corner seat where I can put my feet up, sniff the moist air, hear the halyards clanking in the wind, and sometimes catch a glimpse of Steve, the Adonis who has lived out his summer five boats down. It's almost fall, and the word is he's leaving for the Virgin Isles day after tomorrow. This could be my last chance to watch him remove his t-shirt and do push-ups on the deck of The Whale, his 72-foot yacht. It is an activity which is nothing short of the thrill of my existence.

Halfway up the stairs, I stop, stunned, mouth gaping, head hitting the hatch, espresso spilling. In my own special spot is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in my life. And she's naked. ~~~~~~~

For the rest of the story, please, go to to get your free copy of the printable Adobe file of the Book "Venus For A Day" by Robin Rice.

About The Author

Robin Rice, a contemporary Shaman, lectures worldwide and has been published since 1984. She lives in Annapolis, MD. Venus For A Day and A Hundred Ways ToSunday can both be found free at


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