Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Black Rose Kate On Love and Death...and Life

Kate poses with a rose.
Black Rose Kate has several questions to answer tonight, so we'll get right to them:

Dear Black Rose Kate...
In all your years as a pirate, what would you say was your most challenging interaction? Was it with fellow pirates? With the sea itself? Inquiring minds want to know! :)

Always, The Mermaid Ondine
Comment from ondinemonet - 11/1/05 1:42 PM

Aye, I remember this question from yester eve, but I lack enough time to tell the whole tale tonight as I had planned. I shall instead give you my plain, honest answer, and write the story behind it tomorrow for Karen to transcribe at her leisure.

'Tis certain that it takes years to learn the sea's many moods, from unnatural calm to full hurricane, and everything in between. Aye, I've seen the sea at her worst, and at her best. Luck and good seamanship - with an able captain to give the orders - have helped me survive many a storm that sent other ships to Davy Jones with all hands. Yet none of the captains under whom I've served can truly claim to be the sea's master. We do the best we can, and we survive or we don't. 'Tis dangerous, true, but not difficult.

No, 'tis the human animal that outdoes storm, sea or shark in challenging interactions. One can develop a weather eye, and predict the future seas with fair accuracy. Sharks are even more predictable, which makes them easy to deal with in most situtations. Ah, but people! The most genteel face may hide a black heart, and even the scurviest pirate may do you a good turn for no reason, an it suits him to do so. There be questions of class, of manners, of drink, of desperation, even of sanity, that help to sway a person to do or say this or that; but when you deal with any man, woman or child, one on one, ye can do no more than guess at possible reactions, and try to be prepared for all of them.

Kate can take care of herself.
I was not prepared for my father's death, nor to be confined and ignored by his heir, my elder brother. Aye, that was a challenging interaction, true enow; and I failed the challenge. So I left, slipping down my knotted sheets like Juliet without a Romeo. That led to the next challenge: finding a ship that would take me. I was well known down at the docks in those days, but as my father's daughter, traveling short distances on business, not as a sailor in my own right. None of the captains wished to cross my brother, and none took seriously my desire to go to sea, and do the same work as any other crew member. In the end I had to disguise myself as a man, until we were well away from England and I had proved "Pete" to be a valuable part of Captain Bose's staff. Sometimes, the only way to survive a challenging interaction is to cheat! It was not until my third voyage that I was able to go to sea as Kate instead of Pete - and even then, I had to be good with gun and dagger and a closed fist to be sure of keeping the respect of randy crewmates! Aye, I proved myself, but it took a long time - years, in fact.

Well, Katie, m'girl, welcome and well met. A boon, now that you've spent more than a few minutes in this time and that place. What can you tell us of death and what may come after, having "lived it" and all.

Fair winds, and blue skies,

Windlass Wil Stormunddrang
Comment from hewasolddog299 - 11/2/05 1:30 AM

Kate and her pistol
You seem to be under the impression that I am dead, or, at the least, that I was dead at one time. 'Tis natural enough that you would think so, given that I was born just over 250 years ago. I suppose it is even technically true. Somewhere, my bones have been moldering for well over a century. 'Tis a grave thought!

But I haven't died yet. I fully intend to get home to my own time, and live out the rest of my "nasty, brutish, and short" life. I have no real hope of living into my dotage, unless I manage to retire to some island, rich and anonymous; but I have never taken a bullet or a knife wound where it really mattered, never had a fever from which I did not recover, and my neck has never felt the noose.

No, what I know of death comes from handing it out to others. I am not especially proud of this, nor especially ashamed. If it is any consolation to you, I have only shot or stabbed someone in "kill or be killed" situations. To the best of my knowledge, none of the dozen men and one woman I dispatched ever returned as ghosts. Life after death? I guess I won't know the truth of it until I get there.

Dear Black Rose Kate:

We all (all four of us) want to know how a bold pirate of a woman like you approaches romance. I would imagine a woman in your position would have a hard time getting a man of high regards to notice you lest you be takin' his gold or his horse (or both).

I also want to say that you are an inspiration to all of us 21st century pirate maidens.

I lift my glass to ye!
Invisible Jess of Skull and Cross Bone Local 1220 GA Chapter
Comment from aurielalata - 11/2/05 2:16 PM


Dear Black Rose Kate,
Have you ever been in love pray tell?
And what do you think of the wenches of October 2005 Year of our Lord that you have seen on Karen's various gizmos? Think they that they are too forthright amongst the menfolk or must they become bolder in their charms to dazzle a lover's fancy?
Thank-you for taking the time to answer me!
Comment from globetrotter2u - 11/2/05 5:38 PM

Kate is no role model when it comes to love.
Hmm. Yes, I have been in love - and yes, it is difficult. But surely this is true of everyone, is it not?

Relationships between lady pirates and their male counterparts tend to be a matter of convenience rather than romance. Trust is always an issue, but occasionally love blooms even in the rockiest gardens.

I have never loved a pirate.

There was a man once who was not a pirate. I met him when I was thirty years old, and he was forty. I was recuperating in the Bahamas from a fever, and toying with the idea of giving up the sea. He was in Nassau on the King's business. We met. I pursued him, aye, and boldly as it happens. We loved. I gave him a daughter.

It ended badly.

I went back to the sea.

As you may readily deduce, I am no role model for true love and hearts won. Any advice I may give on the subject is therefore suspect.

Are you modern ladies too bold, or not bold enough? You ask me this, and I hardly have the wit to answer. In Karen's video collection, lovers are together as the story ends, save for Buffy and Angel. A happy ending is a more satisfactory result than in, let us say, Romeo and Juliet, especially for the lovers involved; but hardly different from As You Like It and other comedies. Shall I judge your modern romances by Buffy, by When Harry Met Sally, by You've Got Mail? Nay, for those are mere fiction. If ye men and women who live in the real world this century have your husbands, your wives, your lovers, and if you are happy in their embrace, then that is answer enough.

I do think that yours is a timid century, though, for all its bloodshed. You send your sons and daughters to fight, and do not quite know why; but you are not forthright in your dealings with others, day to day and face to face. It has nothing to do with relationships between the sexes. Men and women alike are guilty of keeping quiet in public, wearing your masks of meek politeness, never speaking your minds when you see folly or injustice. Then you gone home and blog about it. Well, 'tis better than not speaking out at all!

That Disobedient Wench,

Black Rose Katie Specks

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