“Tommy,” Willie said. “I love you, you son of a bitch, and don’t die.”
Thomas Hudson looked at him without moving his head.
“Try to understand if it isn’t too hard.”
Thomas Hudson looked at him. He felt far away now and there were no problems at all. He felt the ship gathering her speed and the lovely throb of her engines against his shoulder blades which rested against the boards. He looked up and there was the sky that he had always loved and he looked across the great lagoon that he was quite sure, now, he would never paint and he eased his position a little to lessen the pain. The engines were around three thousand now, he thought, and they came through the deck and into him.
“I think I understand, Willie,” he said.
“Oh shit,” Willie said. “You never understand anybody that loves you.”