The Money Womb: Chapter Five

Like a wayward canine, Gastric bypass tracked a line of mud and grass through the hospital hallways. It had been a long, long couple of weeks.

His wife, a closet dictator and pedantic woman, hid behind martyrdom, practicality, and strained congeniality. On most occasions, she spent her evenings glowering at the world from their home’s secret window. From here, she recorded the foibles and faults of wandering, hapless underlings in a little notebook she kept on the sill. As the book grew, so did her fantasies of persecution and insufferable itch to control.

She called him “Poopsie”.  Like a distressed, mating goose, she’d saddle up to the kitchen counter and horn-blast dicta with such g-force, Gastric had to retreat behind the nearest cupboard. Her guilt-laden diatribe, usually called for more buttressing and fortification of home and land.

“They were gawking at us,” she warned, “they were just standing there – LOOKING.”

Poopsie, resigned, would slog to his car and drive to the hardware store for more stuff to put between themselves and the world.

Now extricated from her fortress, she implanted herself like a fungal outgrowth in the hospital room corner.  On her lap, she opened a new notebook. A stolen copy of hospital rules and regulation stuck out from her purse.

Gastric Bypass entered the room to find her lemon-faced. “Are your panties full of Sriracha? Why don’t you get yourself something to eat, it’s been DAYS.”

“I’m busy,” she said returning to her notebook.

Plotting a graph, she compared hospital staff uniforms, task times, and hand-washing habits. Little snippets of overheard dialogue peppered the margins.

Sighing, GP rolled himself into bed.

“I need to hook up my suction again,” he said, “wonder where that nice nurse went to?”

“The one with the slutty skirt who carries a picture of her unkempt preschool son? I saw her chatting at the station, missed the call bell when I rang it.”

“Why’da ring the call bell Mara?”

“You’re out of water.”

“I can’t drink.”

“Doesn’t matter, she’s costing us time and taxpayers’ money. I want our money’s worth Calvin.”

Calvin looked to the window. In the reflection he saw the nurse, buxom and generously bottomed. He felt himself flush and dropped his toothbrush on the floor.

“I’ll get it,” she smiled. Mara choked as the nurse leaned over to pick it up. Calvin grinned.

“I’ve got some news for you Calvin. Labs came back normal. Your biopsy shows no sign of cancer. Doctor’s are saying it’s a miracle. You’re completely healed. I can take out the tube now.”

Calvin felt a wave of strength pass through his body. A miracle indeed.

The Money Womb: Chapter Four

The spontaneous combustion gig, I promise you, does not arise out of any particular desire to avoid intimacy with my inherited family.  If I am to compete with the two one-celled organisms for attention and obviously, food, going up in a momentary raging hellfire might preclude me from the usual disgusting, cutesy, infantile strategies designed to wrangle coos, goochie-goos and soggy snacks from gesticulating onlookers.   My own personal summers singe my surroundings despite an internal temperate climate, and thing is, the accompanying emotional catharsis drains me of any perturbation. It’s a mood stabilizer. Added bonus, Jesus appears. I’m set. How to brand myself – that is the question.

The two standing before me in existential bliss, fail to connect the epic musical maelstrom to the cell phone in the couch. Moments prior, in the back of the car, while feigning newborn unconsciousness,  I set the ring tone to Carmina Burana’s opening movement. Karma anticipating my birth, downloaded a Barnie-the-purple-dinosaur playlist, along with the top forty. “I love you, you love me..we’re a great, big, happy fam-ily..” Size challenged maybe, but love? Save me.

Jesus of the Shag delineates a perimeter in which I immediately designate as a personal bubble of safety. I piggy-squeal vault from Karma’s arms, diaper smoking, and claim my holy throne.

Shaking and plunging herself prostrate into a pile of pre-digested Pop Tarts, Karma attempts to speak in tongues and serendipitously creates complex, ancient Greek political rhetoric. In the other corner, Du remains upright, waits for Jesus’ ordinance, crosses himself with the cellphone and answers while looking ceiling-wise for a heavenly manifestation.

“Yes. This is Du. I have not had a drink in five years and I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Three: The Money Womb

Du grabbed a two liter bottle of cola and doused the flaming Asshole who sat melting a hole in the center of the orange shag carpet. Asshole grinned through the steam as Karma ordered the two fraternal amoebas to their rooms.

If you nurtured kindness in your soul you might look upon the amoebas’ ciliated heads and flagella limbs and establish a charity based upon children such as these.  However, the urgency of their plight would not instill lasting charitable inclinations or calls to action within you. Regretfully, and instead, with dark, self-indulgent, secret enthusiasm, you would cheer for Asshole’s victory under muttered breath.

Karma picked up Asshole to find the face of Jesus burned into the carpet.

“Blessed be Karma! It’s a miracle! Like that piece of burnt Jesus toast in the news last week!”

“..Or the Jesus bruise on that woman’s toe –  it’s a sign Du, it’s a sign!”

Karma iced her hand. Deep in reptilian musing, a single coherent thought percolated like a primordial swamp burp and landed on her lips.

“Du, I’m on a new spiritual path.”

She looked at her latest vocab builder crossword and whispered “…I’m on the precipice Du.”

Before Du attempted a reply, as if from a break in the clouds blasted Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna“. Karma and Du locked eyeballs and in unison stood erect to see if Jesus spoke from the shag.
Asshole in hysterics plunged his brass-knuckled hand into the couch and shot-put the phone
across the room.

Ever hyper-vigilant, each looked to the moments unfolding as grand intervention, steeped in prophetic foreshadowing of preternatural happenings.

Du caught the phone coinciding with the opera’s dramatic climax. A voice hollered from the speaker.

“Du?! I’m looking for Du Nothing!”

 

 

 

 

We Will Miss You (song in memory of my brother Chris)

Well it’s early morning and I just can’t sleep
It’s cold outside and it feels like heat
Had a premonition that haunts me still
Shared with no one, it’d make it real
The phone cries out and I hide my head
The moment’s come
And I’m steeped in dread

She says it once and I can’t believe
The power cuts out and the storm’s still flying
The phone goes dead
And my brother’s dying
Oh can you tell me please
My parent’s grief will be…
…We will miss you

The ferry’s full and I can’t stop crying
The woman argues and she hears me sighing
Maybe I can find a way
I can let you on today
…I’m going to miss you

The ride is long and the shades are down
The ship lights carry their own song
It can’t be true my heart is lying
Nothing’s changed, the world keeps going
Your time runs out, you just don’t know
Hang on brother, I’m coming home
…We will miss you

We gather round, tears flood the room
We wash your face, and fix your gown
You see the world to come and we
Hope to see it in your eyes
And heaven lays her hand on you
We grasp your limbs and won’t let go
Please stay a little longer please
We will miss you

Sun gets up, and mountains glow
World turns round
And no one knows
Just how much we love
What you gave to us
I’m going to miss you

The last of us have come
To say goodbye and then
We let you go free
Where we will always meet
In heaven

The Money Womb: Chapter Two

I was born with a full set of teeth and bit my mother’s flesh exiting into the new world. I didn’t yell because of the bright lights, cold room or the  hurly-burly threatening to shatter my zen. I yell at the first  glimpse of my father, a monstrous and sweaty man, with a Neanderthal forehead that eclipses a weak and pathetic nose. My future looks dismal.

Forceps dig deep into my temples, a final yank to my arm and I slip artlessly into the doctor’s hands. A vitriolic stench of mother and antiseptic sting hot and blur my vision as I move from person to person, each poking and jamming instruments into my vernix caseosa anointed body.

Then the unveiling; my mother, equally horrific, her eyes, two yellow, lugubrious, protuberances overhanging baggy, purple festoons of skin comes in for the kill. She makes a sucking sound and aims her fleshy pale orifice at my tender cheek and I yowl. Fighting the clumsy grasp of her purple-mottled, jello arms, I scream for a nurse but mother greedily pinches the tender underside of my upper arm bringing me to a state of resignation. I play dead. No one takes heed so I hold my breath and hope for rescue. Blue with effort, I try to kick the nurse who plunges me face-first into a fleshy mound, its dusky brown, nipple shoved unceremoniously into my tightly pursed lips.  I protest and bite down hard. Mother grunts with slobbering disapproval. It is hate at first sight.

Five hours later we arrive at home. I hang on to a dream that the parents are an anomalous turn of misfortune, a Darwinian aberration to test the limits of human evolution but my peachy face turns to ash when my father drops my car seat in front of two genetically challenged, despicable specimens I deduce are my siblings. Slugface surrounded by Oh Henry wrappers, scarfs down hamburgers and fries slathered in mayo. Stinkfest hangs upside down from the couch cleaning the jam from his belly button. With accidental forethought straining to direct limb movement, they come at me like moulting, seal maggots clambering over rocks to find their mother. I am held hostage, strapped into a thrift store car seat smelling of rancid milk. My life? Doomed.

As soon as the twins reach my seat, I feel myself heat from within; a fiery, fierce rage that forces the blood from my heart to my brass knuckled fists.

And then shouting.

And then smoke.

I peal into a raucous laughter.

“Fire!” mother yells.

 

The Money Womb: Chapter One

He was born with the face of an asshole and came out like any fighter would, fist first. “That’s my boy!” sputtered Du; a man with a face like a slapped ass and whose acrid stench suffused the hospital room.

 

The nurse gagged.

 

Pressing his face between his wife’s porridge thighs, he wiped his bristle-brushed, womb-broom on his stained undershirt, grabbed the kid’s fist with his grubby, calloused hands and pulled.“Jesus Christ! He looks just like me! Bring it on Karma, hurry up and crap that boy out!” Somewhere in a sea of breast and flesh, Asshole’s fist and shoulder made an audible crack and broke Karma’s pubic bone.

 

“Du, Can you see him? Is he out yet?”

 

A rush of fluid gushed out drenching the scrubs of the attending doc.

“It smells like alcohol! Nurse, get a sample for the lab.”

 

Du stuck his grimy finger in the puddle of effluent on the floor and licked it clean. “Tastes just like Southern Comfort… Well, I’ll be damned Karma! Were you sneaking shots? What the hell were you thinking?” No sooner did he say this when a cigar butt popped out smouldering, igniting the alcohol and setting the doc’s pants on fire. Oblivious, Du looked at Karma while the nurse tossed a bedpan full of urine to extinguish the flaming pants. In the background an alarm went off, “Code Red, Code Red, room 666.”

 

Du looked down at the doctor’s hands perched ready to catch the baby. “What the? Karma, he…” Asshole’s head slid out with a belch and on his neck was a tattoo that read “little asshole”. His left fist decorated with brass knuckles immediately met with his slug-lipped orifice. “Damn it Karma, he’s beautiful! He’s our little slugger baby!”

 

Karma didn’t respond, her apnea temporarily cut off her breathing. Once the nurse put her upright, her piggy pink skin returned. “Pass me the Big Gulp Du, I’m dry.” The nurse gingerly wrapped asshole in a mustard yellow hospital blanket and passed him over to Du. Asshole managed to pitch snot rockets straight for the nurses eye. Du reached out to cradle him in his arms only to meet with a swift crack to his jaw from Asshole’s knuckles. Karma smiled. “He’s got your strength Du, just like his papa-daddy.”

 

Du grinned. “What do you want to name him Karma?”

 

“How ’bout Asshole?” said the nurse. The doc nodded. A flood of fireman pour into the room.

“Du!! The baby’s hanging off your switch blade!

“Jesus, Gin and Mary, Karma, I’m thinking. I’m thinking on some business plans.”

“Come on little guy.”

“Damn, he nicked my gut.”

 

“Du, give’m to me, he needs the boob. Poor little slugger hasn’t had much of a chance at the latte makers.”

 

The nurse with the burnt scrubs came back into the room, her legs bandaged, the burn’s seepage already showing through. A small plume of smoke trailed from her pant cuff.

“Where did you put the pain killers you brought to the hospital?” the nurse said as she lost her balance in a puddle on the floor. She grunted and squawked, grabbed the pills and headed for the door.

“Hospital rules say these need locking up, besides, they’ve changed your prescription.”

She took a toothpaste spit cup filled with water and downed four capsules.

“What are you looking at? It’s a long shift! If it wasn’t for you and my last-minute assignment change, I would’ve had four comatose patients and time to practice my Tai-chi.”

 

Du wasn’t listening, he yanked off his du-rag and mopped up the rest of the womb booze carefully squeezing every drop into his shaving kit travel bottle. “Taste-testers for later. I need a cigarette.”

 

“You mean a fag Du?”

 

“No Karma, and you might want to consider looking up woodbine as I don’t much like what you’re implying. You need to start improving your vocabulary as our boy will need a mother who can edify his intellectual prowess.”

 

“Du? Been studying my crosswords?”

 

“Karma…with this baby we have arrived. Karma screamed then cooed. Asshole bit her nipple.”

 

“I think he pierced it. Can you get me some hoop earrings from the gift-shop? I want to honor this piercing and bless the birth of our first son.”

 

“Sure, I gotta get some air first.”

 

Passing the nursing station he tried to rouse the nurse, but she was non-responsive, so he wrote on the whiteboard next to their doctor’s name an extra column titled “family” and scribbled “gone for a smoke”.

 If he was going to get his plan going he’d have to start now. The smoking area was a designated patch 100 feet from the hospital entrance. A soggy section of moss sucked at the stiletto heels of a hospital administrator.  Tripping, she latched onto the shoulders of a gastric by-pass patient in a wheelchair and walloped the man’s head with her purse.

 

“Sounds like my wife’s …” Du trailed off as he dropped his pack sac on the ground next to him. He pulled out some tiny cups he’d pilfered from the hospital washroom. Two others joined them, a deaf, 70-year-old man and another visitor he recognized from the maternity ward. The woman in heels aerated the rest of way through the sod and flicked her still lit cigarette in Du’s direction.

 

“Asshole” she said.

 

“Who’s the asshole?” the old man snapped. Every time he moved, his bones cracked causing him to moan in pain.

 

Du poured a sample into four cups. “Here’s to the birth of our children and the women who push them out.”

 

“Mine had a c-section.”

 

“Too bad, that means you never got to taste the mother gush. Kinda like the gold rush, come to think of it.”

 

“Yah, I guess,” The father tipped it back spilling some on his cheek and chin. “it stings a bit, guess it’s my psoriasis.”

Gastric Bypass put half of it for good measure in his feeding tube.

The old, deaf man took a deep drag of his cigarette, downed the shot and choked on his own sputum; the projectile landed like a basketball in his cup.

 

“He scores!” Du yelled.

 

Gastric Bypass looked vacantly at Du. Unfortunately, he’d left his glasses back somewhere in the hospital lobby where another patient with dementia picked them up. “Up a bum” he said, and drank the entire shot.

 

“Exactly,” said Du, “that’s the perfect toast.”

 

 

“So what line of business are you in?” said the father.

 

“Product development and research.” Du reached out and shook their hands. “I’m Du Bad, my wife’s name is Karma, here’s my card.” He passed out three pub coasters he had in his jacket pocket handwritten with his name and phone number, part of his latest effort to reuse and recycle everyday objects.

“Unusual card, each design is different, and the card-stock, impressive. I wouldn’t mind talking to you later about creative marketing.” said the psoriatic-faced father.

 

“Yah, you can reuse them as drink coasters, kinda like the idea behind business card magnets.” Du’s phone rang. Karma yelled on the other end something unintelligible, something about Asshole choking the nurse. “Poor Asshole, sorry, gotta go, my old lady’s horror-mones are in need of my calming presence.”

“Don’t feel sorry for me, just because I’m an old, deaf man, doesn’t mean I need sympathy, dickhead.”

 

“That’ll be my next kids name.” Du left Psoriatic to push Gastric Bypass out of the mud, while the old man struggled to find his hearing aid in the grass.

 

“Asshole!” the old man yelled.

 

“Yes! You got it old man! Here, here!” With tears of joy in his eyes, Du raised both fists and disappeared behind the automatic doors.

When he entered the room, baby Asshole had the nurse in a choke hold with her stethoscope.

 

“Du! Tickle Asshole, maybe he’ll loosen his grip.”

 

Du tickled the baby up his thorny spine until Asshole broke into laughter and released the now spewing nurse.

WHAT a fucker! God-damn it! WHAT is with you people? I’m getting your discharge papers. Pack up and be ready to leave stat.”

The nurse massaged the bruises on her neck and tripped on Karma’s IV line. Karma squealed and the nurse scoffed. “Good. Now I don’t have to remove it. Put pressure on it, you don’t want to bleed to death. Just wish it had been your kid Satan. Looks like I’ll have to call the hospital priest to exorcise the room.”

Asshole smiled and raised his fist with pinky, index and thumb protruding. Du sparked his lighter acknowledging his new-found brotherhood with his son. Over the loud-speaker boomed the nurse’s voice. “Dr. Harry Hunt, OBG-YN, please come to the nurses station, we are in need of a signature.”

Boston Bombing

I can’t write. I’m saddened by the Boston bombing. I know that all over the world far from our normally placid and relatively safe and rich countries, tragedies such as this are a regular occurrence whether it starvation, bombings, domestic violence, rape, human trafficking, racism, the list goes on… People live with violence, whether it be in our homes, communities, country or abroad.

Many postings yesterday talked about “keeping things in perspective” to what goes on in the rest of the world. I agree, but a human life is a human life and yesterday’s footage and coverage was like a kick in the stomach. I’m sure that if I woke up every morning to the violent footage from abroad that is a daily happening in some parts of the world, I would find it hard to get up in the morning.

I, like many, are protected from all these events because we live in an amazing country. In order to get up and face the day I conclude that each one of us must start with the ordinary interactions within our own families and spread out from there, doing acts of kindness that I hope spreads out like the wake from a pebble that has landed in a pool of water.

Many said yesterday, the good can overcome, it will outweigh and rise above the evil that cause such tragedies. The people who rush to help, who risk their own lives in the process show that we have not lost our sense of  interdependence and are capable of acts of courage and love. I am no great humanitarian, just an ordinary citizen but hopefully, the small things that I do, have some purpose. When we all do these small things they become very big things. Never forget your power to change the world, one small deed at a time.

This post from Patton Oswalt is my favourite: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patton-oswalt/patton-oswalt_b_3088337.html

From the TED blog: “We love the idea of looking for the helpers. To keep you inspired on a hard day, here are some talks from brave helpers”:

http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/16/a-playlist-as-we-look-for-the-helpers/

What Did You Do Today?

Fade In:

INT. KITCHEN:

Husband #1 ( I’m thinking this character title creates suspense …is it her only husband? will she remarry? Is it in fact her husband at all? )

Anyhow, he enters into shabby chic, okay, messy damngoodhousewife’s kitchen.

 H#1:                                              “What did you do today?”

 

Damn Good Housewife:                         “I thought.”

 

H#1:                                                 “You thought…?”

 

DGH:                                                     “I thunk.”

 

H#1:                                      “What do you mean you thunk?”

 

DGH:                                          “I sat and thought.”

 

H#1:                                                “That’s all?”

 

DGH:                                                 “I sat.”

 

H#1                                                “You sat?”

 

DGH:                                         “Actually I sunk.”

 

H#1:                                       “You sunk what?”

 

DGH:                           “…in my chair and then I thunk.”

 

H#1:                                          “Anything else?”

 

DGH:                                      “Nope. Just thunk.”

 

CUT TO: Husband #1 trips through basement door, interrupting the dog who submission-pees on floor.

CLOSE SHOT:  H#1’s head. DGH sees the problem of the basement door’s undersized bulkhead but remains silent.

 

DGH:                                           “Rhymes with…”

 

 

Husband #1 hits head.

 

DGH                                              “Clunk.”

 

H#1 irritated:                 “What are your plans for tomorrow then?”

 

DGH:                                “I don’t know, let me think.”

FADE OUT  into ominous and occasionally threatening black.

Poop Deck Chronicles

Head Games…or Nautical Nastiness

Day 1: Monday August 3
Sailing from Cordova Bay over to South Pender Island, Bedwell harbour. The depth sounder gives out and we jimmy it back and forth trying for a signal.  Weather fair, overcast with some sun.

We anchor uneventfully. If you’re a sailor,  you’d understand that anchoring between a husband and wife can fall into the same category as co-piloting and navigation on a European road trip.  It tests the most congenial of partnerships. We’re not docile and quiet anchor-mates, we provide cocktail-hour conversation fodder for self-satisfied, on-looking cruisers. On another boat you will overhear another wife quietly cheerleading, “thank god it’s not me, thank god it’s not me, come on chickee you can do it, eat it, slam the boat into reverse then forward, problem solved, husband overboard.”

But tonight, all goes well; not a curse or prismatic face.  The usual, unrestrained, monkey hysteria is blissfully absent; we remain married and momentarily consider renewing our vows.

Tonight we spend quietly slurping our wine, washing it down with an anticipatory forecast of optimism for the forthcoming holiday cruise. Two weeks crammed in a 31 footer; this ship’s crew – an overworked, haggard husband, a not-so-delicate, hormonally seasoned mother, a staunchly independent tween seeking tragedies and soapbox opportunities and an emerging, dark-comic teen in the throes of perpetual, rank sarcasm and urgent melancholy. All should go well.

Day two, Tuesday, August 4:
Tom tries fixing the wiring and the depth sounder, while I look on: exposed wires, lots of water – this should be good.  All six-foot-two-inch-tall Tom spends most of his time hunched, folded and stuffed in the aft quarter locker. Occasionally I throw him a sandwich, he mutters the odd word just a few letters short of an official curse. (Note to self: find some creative alternatives in the History of Swear Words that can pass by younger ears yet remain satisfying.)

 

Roughly 5 hours later, he emerges permanently fixed in a yoga position of which I cannot name, Madonna would be envious. Being a thoughtful wife, I chortle, snicker and hand him a generous glass of Chilean wine to untwist his yogic, tree-like, arthritic limbs.

 

“Fucking great, let’s see what tomorrow brings” I say with unfettered enthusiasm,  “I’m ready for the hot tub, let’s head for the resort, I could use a soak. ”
“Ahh, I mean Gad Zooks!”, I add apologetically.

I must refer to that historical reference on swearing before it’s too fucking late and the kids are permanently affected.

Sixty dollars later, a resort massage from  “Resort Randy” attempts to loosen up the muscles of my now placid and slightly confused husband. Tom walks around to the side of the pool.

“It could’ve been longer,” he bemoans, “but he gave me an extra 15 minutes and I think he was hoping I’d go for the full hour fee.  He also said the laundry was down and they were out of robes. He kept working his way down my back and I only asked for a shoulder and neck massage.”

I feel a warm wave of philanthropy coming on, some compassion and empathy for I sense some definite discomfort…

“And you think THAT was an accident?  I guess “Resort Randy” was feeling generous, either that or he likes your ass.” I smile as I do an awe-inspiring breaststroke from shallow end to shallow end. I’m sure Tom is admiring my strokes. I dive down and do a handstand to give him a look at my glistening gams. When I come up he has disappeared. I rub the bump on my head; the pool is a humiliating 2.5 feet deep.

The following morning I take another refreshing dip in the pool and attempt some manic, marina aqua-fit; a pastime that will soon lose it’s lure after 15 minutes of solo gesticulations and acrobatics.

“I think she is doing aqua physiotherapy,” a fellow sailor and passerby comment.
I pretend to have a mini seizure and exit the pool.

Meanwhile, back at the boat, stuffed in the V-berth, the girls debate who can lift the front hatch solely with the use of their salty, beachy toes. I return from my “therapeutic” row from the marina, the show is promptly repeated for my enjoyment.

Being the supportive and praising parent, I never miss an opportunity to catch them in positive moments,”WELL DONE! Excellent form, I really like how you can manipulate those latches, I am confidant that if you lost your hands, all would be well.”

Feeling in the resort mood, all resort-y and stuff, the troupe heads to the main restaurant for breakfast. Today’s server, our waiter, a half-gassed, overwrought fellow with a furrowed mono-brow looks like he could benefit from a morning lobotomy.  Business is slow, there are but a few stragglers eating resort fare at ridiculously inflated prices. We must partake, it is team play, and we are team players. Wow, I feel so yacht-y, so Sperry boat-shoed, so navy-striped and proper.

Mono-brow heads to our table, his hind-brain deep in thought. We order one hot chocolate, a latte for the teen (despite threats of stunted growth), a decaf and a regular coffee. He stands at our table until the outer deck clouds over and moves toward the back corner, probably for shock therapy. I make use of my time and stash the little mini jams in my bag.

“Good thinking Mom!” my Tween yells.

The waiter awakes from his Frankenstein slumber.  I have some thoughts on what might be growing on this island and I think he’s been raiding Mr. McGregor’s garden a little too much. It’s not oregano. He could really benefit from some gingko though.

We receive our coffee tepid, the latte foamless and lacking any differentiation from a McDonald’s super-sized coffee with cream. The hot chocolate with “whipped cream ”  now resembles an Exxon-Valdez oil spill swirling in psychedelic rainbow motifs. Mono-brow is still on his magical, mystical tour and I’m afraid to ask for cream.  We dare to order breakfast, various forms of eggs Bennie, (you choose the topping), it doesn’t really matter; Mono-brow is sure to lose it all in translation.

One hour later we ask if the breakfast sitting under the warming lights might be ours.

“Oh yah.”

Another server valiantly assists him, and the Bennies arrive cold, but we’re too hungry to complain.  At least I got mini jams I think to myself.

 

Tweenie eats two bites then abandons ship. I could hardly blame her.
I ask for the bill.
“Sorry, our computers are down, do you have cash?” he manages to dribble out.
I contemplate freaking out and envision what Mono-brow would look like wearing my daughter’s soggy omelet but sensibility, admirable patience and tranquility come over me. It must be the island air; either that or I’ve inhaled the fumes from his clothes.

“No, but how about Visa?” I offer graciously, almost saccharine. Sometimes I amaze myself with the learned discipline I’ve acquired from teachers such as Ekhart Tolle, really, he would be proud.

“Ask your dealer…I mean, superior if that can be done.”

I have to say it hurt, it hurt to pay so much for such a fiasco, but I grappled with guilt and tipped him anyway, and probably paid for the next week’s stash or at least put him out of his server misery for the following days. It felt good at least to make a difference. I felt enlightened.

Day 3, Wednesday, August 5:

The weather is not looking favourable to the south so we abandon plans for the San Juan Islands. We forgo Roche Harbour and other American highlights and decide it not a great idea to fly our 6 foot pirate flag in American waters gauging by home land security’s lack of knee-slapping humour, that, and the owner’s vaporizer hanging from the galley’s accoutrement rack. Some on-board, underage miscreant belts from below, “you can always say Canadians don’t inhale either.” I pretend not to hear.

We sail for Narvaez bay, a newly designated marine park on Saturna Island.  The passage is smooth save for the pirate-evoking mixed seas along Boiling Point reef.   We reach one of the highlights along the Saturna coast; the sandstone cliff’s Monarch’s head. Expecting something Kingly or Queenly, something inspiring like Queen Elizabeth in one of her hats waving a sandstone hand, instead we see what looks like Jason from Friday the 13th.

As we enter Narvaez bay I am overcome. I feel the urge to make organic granola, homemade, no-hormones- bacon fat soap and knit hand-spun, free range, wool socks. I abandon the boat and jump overboard. It seems like a good idea, the water is emerald green and has the mythic lure of merman and sea-maidens; the reality however is slightly soupy and heart-stopping cold. I sport an over-enthusiastic grin and turn to see a seal looking at me, the stupid human flailing about like a white suffocating sausage.  Luckily, in a matter of minutes, wetsuits and all, the kids dive in like little stuffed black sausages and join marine Sausagedom.

Tom never one to miss an opportunity,  combines his wily desires for a  dory outboard motor, (lovingly known as the “Green Onion”) with a child’s natural hunger instinct.   Promise of food and beverages fuel the kick-board “motor” and Tweenie is eager to work for her dinner.  Suddenly I experience a deep sense of love and approbation as I witness this wonder of parenting aptitude and in this moment,  kinship and knowledge of a lasting future together strikes my heart. My wedding ring tingles on my finger and gets caught in the zipper of tween’s wetsuit.

“Mom! I’m drowning! What are you DOING?”

“I’m trying to hold your head up so you don’t choke on the waves. Geesh.”

She breaks free and Tom tosses her some fish.

“Well done, you’re doing great! Can you kick a little harder?”

Treasures await us on the island. Tom itches to explore he-man pathways and I feel a burning in my loins to be at one with nature. Tweenie accompanies the Raider of the Lost Ark and the more serious Teen Angst, purveyor of profound thoughts,  retreats back to the boat for some secluded afternoon, philosophic reading. I embark on my own version of an imagined reality TV show excerpt- Woman Forager on Prelude Voyager, subtitled “What will she eat next?”

My first atavistic compulsion preys upon me as I wade ashore like a primordial soup monster. The seaweed is in full bloom and I hunger. Grasping the maiden’s head (bull kelp bulb) by the hair (kelp fronds), I take a bite. The other island visitors step back into the trails, retreating with their children.  Ahhh, so good for hypothyroidism, I feel renewed energy surge through my body; the natural iodine an elixir to my soul.

With green fragments sticking between my teeth, I move to my next victims who lie helplessly along the shoreline.  Oysters cling together fearing the demented sea monster about to devour their entrails.  I grab a rock and strike hard, the top shell smashing with a satisfying crack. The opalescent gut awaits its fate. I scrape the slimy booger from the attached muscle and slurp the entire blob, salt, sand and all.  I think I growl.

A nearby father of two and husband to one, maybe two, (you never know these days) leers from the sidelines,” I would never do that,” he chides with superior authority. His wife? Husband? smiles uneasily and I ignore the killjoy.

Next, more earthly pleasures. The desire to pillage the island for sustenance grows stronger as I follow a deserted trail. Picnickers quickly abandon their shady paradise in hasty recoil. I think I may cannibalize today. I can feel my armpit hair grow like a steroidal, European goddess, primitive yet scholarly in the ways of mother earth.

As the hair on my legs grows more robust, I spy wild orchards ripe with splendor.  Is bark edible?  I think as I pass a voluptuous Douglas Fir.  A perfect apple dangles hesitantly from a low-lying branch.

 

Where is Adam?” I think to myself, or maybe I said it out-loud, I don’t know, but let’s get back to the forager shall we?

 

My aching ovaries cry out and I am at once naked all except for a costly but not sexy, pair of new olive-green, podiatrically-correct, Keens; their arch support rivals second to none.  I may have pronated but instead walked perfect strides forward leaping to catch the sinfully, sensuous apple.

 

Out of the outlying shrubbery, my Adam materializes.  And it seems that he has already mated with Eve as her progeny is with him.  Voraciously I bite the apple and a squirt of juice hits my eye…

“What are you doing?” Adam asks.

It’s as if the apple has broken a spell, however there is no snake in sight, I see my nakedness and he sees mine. The record player needle screeches across my record of love ballads (I’m thinking Led Zeppelin) and I am once again human.

“Hi Tom, shall we be getting back to the boat?” I cover myself and wince a bit, wiping apple juice from eyebrow and some spittle from my chin.

“Are you alright? Need help picking more apples or perhaps gathering your clothes?”

“I’m good. You should taste these, they’re just like Golden Delicious!”

We head back to the boat, my tummy satiated. It’s been a great day. It’s mid afternoon and Teen has accomplished her book-a-day quota and I return to my former role as galley cook and mediator of sibling peace talks at the round-table (actually rectangular).

 

Our next port of call – Winter Cove, a moorage on Saturna Island, home to the narrow, and waterfall-esque Boat Passage and is the site of the Robertson II wreckage, an old, 130 foot schooner built-in the earlier parts of the last century.

We approach. Sailors pack Winter Cove. An abandoned, cedar-shingled, “hippy-ship”  boat with a rusting metal hull catches my eye.  I hull out the camera and try to catch the image in the dying light of the day. We break the placidity.

“Edacious Eve, can you pay attention, we are trying to anchor, I don’t need a space-out, artsy-fartsy moment at the moment. Put down the camera and stay at the helm.”

 

I don’t know what “edacious” means but it sounds kind of like it might mean voluptuous and give Tom a wink. He looks perplexed and I return to my camera.
“Yah, yah, yah, alright, but the light it’s so perfect ” I whine, “I’m losing the light!”

“Put her in neutral, then reverse, wheel hard over, then back to neutral and when or if I say forward, be sure not to foul the anchor. And don’t run over the dory tied to stern port-side.”

I don’t think I heard one word of the instructions; I was picking the seaweed and dirt from beneath my nails. I follow the gesticulations as best I can, noting the furrowed brow followed by scrunched up nose, followed by frantic hand signals.
Oh crap.

“I said reverse, not forward!”

 

I notice I might be out of favour at the moment, not exactly the yacht-y wife I should be.

 

Again it’s cocktail hour and all yachtsman (yachtpersons, for those in women studies) are on their decks. I think I shall charge for this spectacle, after all, I make people feel better about their seafaring skills.

 

Finally, we anchor and the boat is left to bob and swivel on most-likely too long a scope. All is quiet and my husband returns to his original peachy colour. What lies for the days ahead is still to be known, but whatever comes our way will surely not lack in adventure. This is our ship’s log signing off,  August 6.

Beige

A rogue, beige sock appeared in the laundry today. Beige sock tried to shoe its way across the threshold of the children’s bedrooms, the children recoiled and winced. I hang garlands of garlic around their necks and hand them a crucifix, but still they sputter and quail.

 

“Beige!” “Not my sock!” “That is the sock of an accountant, a suit, a white collared executive!” “THAT, belongs to an old lady who wears open-toed flats and has a band-aid on her ankle..and it’s peeling off.” “Go back to your foot, you dirty excuse for a sock! Go back to your crocks!”

Beige. Not in my family’s rainbow.

A rainbow toe-sock appeared in the laundry today…