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Dayton Moore misses the boat

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Shallow into the night, a deep fog covers the short stretch of the wooden planks. Below his shuffling feet the wood creaks and groans with old age. Long have they been eroded by the waters below and the time around it. These docks have been here for centuries. Since man once invented this game.

There is a single lamp light, extending high into the dark sky. It's golden glow warming those under it, casting a shadow longer than his predecessors. The dock is old but the light is new and it brings a burden. A pressure for success that can turn downtrodden into proud, but also the proud into the humiliated. The man can't see far into the future. He's being blinded by the lamp light. Though he's surrounded by many who watch his every move, he thinks and acts alone. Alone, but for a greater good perhaps. The spectators, the light, the loose planks...all of it stands on top of his shoulders, inching him closer to the water below. Crashing into the rocks the water breaks his thoughts.

He's moving faster now as time hasn't waited for him. Cutting through the fog his breath shortens as his heart beat paces faster than his footsteps. Why has this happened again? History is crueler than the cutting rain. Time has greyed his hair, wrinkled his skin. Maybe it's slowed his thoughts. His mind may wander farther than it once did. Time has found him and now he's lost track of time.

Maybe he was thinking that he could hold off time for another year. With success comes a certain sense of naivety. It's not ignorance, but self confidence. What makes a man forget himself? Forget who he is, what he has done, and what he ought to do. Will there be more nights ahead of forgetfulness? The cruelty of past lessons makes the man afraid of doing wrong. Even in his heart he may know what he has to do, but courage can only be for those who are bold.

The wooden planks beneath him stretch long out to the waves. Well beyond the closest light he rushes to the deep dark end. The time is close, the night is wet, and his vision isn't strong. At the end of the dock the man looks up to see how far he's come. Through thick fog and pelts of rain the man cannot hear his watch tick. He does however hear his own loud sigh.

Far off this coast a boat lets out a large yell of its horn. It waves goodbye to those on the shore. The man has missed his boat.