Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I woke up this morning in the middle of a dream about Trafalgar. I'm sure that Lady Hamilton figured in there somehow, but my dreams were filled with the sound of fighting, especially that sound of fighting with swords and black powder that left the great Lord Nelson bleeding to death on the quarterdeck of the HMS Victory. I don't know where the dream came from but it was real enough to my mind that I was panting, out of breath, filled with adrenalin, my feet tingling with flight reflex, reaching for my handgun. I swear I could feel the air vibrating with the passage of those 20 pounders as they shuddered by overhead... the cry of grapeshot as it scithed through masses of bodies on deck.

I made the tourist trip a few years ago when my daughter drug me to see Victory when we sailed up to the #2 berth housing Victory in Portsmouth at the Navy Yards storage docks on the Thames. Nelson's flagship remains as the oldest active service ship commissioned in the British Navy. We both stood at the sight where Nelson fell. There's a brass plate commemorating the event.

They dug the 50 cal. rifle soft lead round shot bullet that killed Nelson out of his chest and put it up in a morbid memorial at the Navy Museum there at Greenwich. Just a ittle reminder for guys like me who wake up soaked in sweat from dreaming of fighting in a shower of oak splinters shot out by the passage of a 20 lb. cannon ball passing by on the deck of a war ship. Then thinking of Lady Hamilton, I suppose. Sex and gunfire. What a life.