UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

And so it is : a group of short stories Hindmarch, Gladys Maria 1968

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1968_A8 H55.pdf [ 3.11MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0104408.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0104408-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0104408-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0104408-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0104408-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0104408-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0104408-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0104408-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0104408.ris

Full Text

AND SO IT IS A Group of Short  Stories  by GLADYS MARIA HINDMARCH B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1962  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OP THE  REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OP MASTER OP ARTS i n t h e Department of English  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming r e q u i r e d standard  t o the  THE UNIVERSITY OP BRITISH COLUMBIA J u l y , 1968  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s  in p a r t i a l  f u l f i l m e n t of the  requirements  f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia,  t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r  Study.  I further  I agree  r e f e r e n c e and  agree that p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e  copying of  this  t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my  Department or by h.iis r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .  or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s  w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n  Department of  ^  ^.  i r  ^  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada Date  ^ , A . ^ a>  itf t,p-  i s understood t h a t  copying  t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d  permission.  A f  It  Columbia  ii  ABSTRACT "And So I t l a " i s a group of e i g h t short s t o r i e s were w r i t t e n t o be r e a d a l o u d . his  which  The reader s h o u l d l e a d w i t h  e a r and f o l l o w w i t h h i s eye. The s t o r y i s i n the sound,  i n the d e t a i l s , i n the motion, and not i n the p l o t or the characters.  What happens i s i n no sense important; how i t  happens, i s . All occur.  o f my w r i t i n g i s based on i n c i d e n t s which d i d  So, "And E t c . " i s the s t o r y o f a g i r l  about t o w r i t e  an exam; "With My P e o p l e " i s about an Indian student who once wrote a paper f o r me as a t e a c h e r ; "Where They A r e , " "Such As It  I s , " "They Know What They're Doing," "Other Men Make The,"  "A S i n g l e Scrambled," and "Some T r i p This Is Going To Be" are s t o r i e s of a g i r l ' s f i r s t girl  i n t r o d u c t i o n t o b o a t - l i f e as a mess-  on a west-coast f r e i g h t e r . I attempt n e i t h e r to e n l a r g e nor d i m i n i s h events, but  n a t u r a l l y they change, take shape, assume a form as I w r i t e . So, although v a r i o u s l i s t e n e r s have c a l l e d my f i c t i o n symbolic, r e a l i s t i c ,  absurd, p o e t i c , l i t e r a l ,  comic,  imaginative, a l l  I can say i s that these s t o r i e s a r e based on i n c i d e n t s which did  occur and that they are o r a l .  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page AND ETC  1  WITH MY PEOPLE  7  WHERE THEY ARE  13  SUCH AS IT IS  20  THEY KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING  31  OTHER MEN MAKE THE  1+0  A SINGLE SCRAMBLED  I4.8  SOME TRIP THIS IS GOING TO BE  53  AND  ETC  It i s a warm, not too sunny, somewhat vague summer morning:  the t r e e s the weeds the boulders dont stand out  s h a r p l y , they blend i n t o the a i r and each o t h e r . r a r e l y do have sharp edges:  But  sometimes i n the f a l l ,  on a c l e a r l a t e winter a f t e r n o o n , sometimes very few  they  sometimes times  r i d i n g down i n t o the c i t y , the b u i l d i n g s , the cedar boughs, the sea edge, and the t r e e s on the f a r mountains are  separate,  distinct.  like  But today's  y e s t e r d a y before t h a t : unclear.  And  j u s t l i k e yesterday which was  everything's s o f t , blending, q u i e t ,  today, not l i k e yesterday,  I'm  supposed t o w r i t e  an exam, Amerrikan L i t e r a c h o o r , Mark Twain to the p r e s e n t , but the present stops w i t h Beraingway present a t a l l . window moves.  who  i s n t r e a l l y that  O c c a s i o n a l l y the couch grass j u s t o u t s i d e ray And  o c c a s i o n a l l y I l o o k at my book, American  Poetry and Prose, which i s f i l l e d w i t h remarks such as " n a t u r a l i s m ventured now  t o p h i l o s o p h i z e , " and  j u s t what does t h a t mean.  I say t o  N a t u r a l i s m ventured:  myself, a  personified, useless, generality. Kids are p l a y i n g f o r t near the woods at the edge of the f i e l d i n a p i l e of stumps and t r e e limbs that were moved there by the b u l l d o z e r y e s t e r d a y . the o l d e s t .  How  I'm  supposed to be l e a d e r ,  r a p i d l y they make use  of what they have:  they are what they are even while p l a y i n g . biggest.  No,  t h e y ' r e not p l a y i n g .  I'm  p l a y by daydreaming, by arguing i n my  I'm  No  I am,  the one who  I'm is.  the I  head, by never f i g h t i n g  2 w i t h anyone: than I am.  they're much more here, i n what t h e y ' r e doing, I dont have t o take you  b r o t h e r , j u s t cause you're my  .just cause you're  brother.  my  What I have to do i s ,  what I have t o do i s , t o get p h y s i c a l l y keyed up, tuned i n , or i n tone f o r w r i t i n g that exam. have t o .  Look at your n o t e s .  But  I dont want t o .  But  you  They're not notes, t h e y ' r e  j u s t q u o t a t i o n s t h a t i n t e r e s t me.  Okay, r e a d them over.  But  they wont have any c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the exam because I wont be asked what i t i s t h a t I do know, I ' l l be asked what R u s s e l l t h i n k s i t i s t h a t we The t r o u b l e w i t h me That i s , I never say i t :  Dr.  should know.  i s I never  say or do a n y t h i n g .  say anything that matters t o whomever I should  Dr. R u s s e l l , you're  a f a r t - f a c e , you've no r i g h t  stand t h e r e l e c t u r i n g g i v i n g us comments by two a n t h o l o g i e s as i f they were you own.  Attack.  e d i t o r s of  To f r i e n d s  I  I c r i t i c i z e , and not about what they're  doing, only about what someone e l s e has done or i s n t  doing.  Scardee-cat, s c a r d e e - c a t , cant get o f f the:  the l i t t l e s t  no more than t h r e e , cant make i t a l l the way  up,  Stuck, he's  two  A. gang of boys  ascends the f o r t u s i n g maple s t i c k s as swords. t a l k , y e s j but no,  to  s t u c k , I'm  one,  i s stuck.  stuck, and R u s s e l l i s stuck t o o .  But  he gets p a i d f o r b e i n g stuck, f o r s t i c k i n g s t u d e n t s , I bet even asked t o t e a c h the course, a f u l l p r o f e s s o r , or so the calendar-  says, he c o u l d choose what he wanted or at l e a s t  could say what he d l d n t want.  he  3 One it,  of the o l d e r boys p u l l s the k i d down, he's  wish i t was  blouse  that f a s t f o r me.  I go to the can and  and l i s t e n to a g i r l t a l k about her exam:  them what they want, t h a t ' s the only way simple  i f you  repeat  R u s s e l l was,  probably,  probably  they're gone.  are:  can  I come back to  of t h a t one,  My bed  i s unmade,  s a i d that b e f o r e . write a t e s t .  on the bed by my  on the s h e l f t o my  as simple as t h a t .  Maybe I should p l a y I'm  Nah,  p l a y has  You've  a student  about t o  to be r e a l or i t a i n t any  fun.  notebook.  i n a messy room, and do you  tired  r i g h t , so they switch, i t ' s  I am supposed to be s t u d y i n g .  Dear Dr. R.:  s i d e , got  I dont want to w r i t e the exam.  Maybe I should w r i t e i n my  I'm  Here I am,  supposed to be  writing this, studying.  t h i n k Pound would be happy i f he knew he  CLASS poems and  one HOME poem b e i n g worried about by  e i g h t y or so people here d u r i n g the l a s t few hours and knows how  many other people elsewhere on t h i s  hundreds I suppose, maybe even two you  my  they're p l a y i n g somewhere e l s e , my books are s c a t t e r e d  on the desk i n f r o n t of me,  had two  i f he  you  So  t r y t o read, and eat a c r a c k e r , and t r y t o t h i n k , but  l o o k out the window:  sitting  give  to get through.  the crap i n t h a t book, most l i k e l y .  room and  of  iron a  I just  can do i t , I t h i n k , i f t h a t ' s the way  I wonder i f t h a t ' s how  out  continent,  or three thousand?  t h i n k he "uses symbolism" as other people USE  marbles, capers, d i l l - w e e d ? t h e r e , dubs on you,  c l i c k and  God  And  do  pens,  a s p r i n k l e here, a teaspoon c l i c k , put  i n a purse,  a pocket,  a bag, a mouth, a t h r o a t , covered by c l o t h or paper or l e t t u c e or skin?  c o l l e c t , knock, mix, USE?  Can you say,  q u i t e h o n e s t l y , t h a t W i l l i a m C a r l o s W i l l i a m s ever USED symbolism i n h i s l i f e ?  That  i s , I know you argue t h a t words  themselves a r e symbolic, but i s t h e r e no such t h i n g as the LITERAL anymore?  I know t h a t i s an impossible q u e s t i o n f o r  you t o answer because I know you dont know what i t means. W e l l , you've had a few moments t o t h i n k about i t , what i s your r e p l y ?  Oh, t h a t Paterson i s a c i t y , t h a t t h e r e a r e  c i t i e s everywhere, t h e r e f o r e Paterson, symbolic'of a l l American c i t i e s  or f a t h e r - s o n , i s  ( f a t h e r s beget sons and they  a l l have s i m i l a r i t i e s ) , and nothing e l s e ?  No, nothing  else.  That's because that i s not what i s going on, t h a t ' s why you've got n o t h i n g , t h a t ' s why you are nothing, t h a t ' s why you cant even r e a d a poem, much l e s s comment, because you p e r c e i v e only the symbol whether i t i s present or not.  I shouldnt have s a i d  t h a t , you dont even p e r c e i v e the symbol, i t ' s simply a c l i c k e t y - s p l i t - p l o p you've r e a d elsewhere.  And the elsewheres  you r e a d never have i t s t r a i g h t , that i s they do not d e a l d i r e c t l y w i t h the t h i n g i t s e l f , out, simply secondary secondary  they a r e , as f a r as I c a n make  sources o f secondary  sources o f  sources.  Okay, I've done that and managed t o waste another minutes.  Get d r e s s e d .  That doesnt matter.  Go w r i t e the t h i n g .  I will,  twenty  I dont want t o .  I w i l l , exams s t a r t when they  s t a r t and not when students do.  They are p u b l i s h e d on a l i s t  a month or more i n a d v a n c e — a s i f that makes them more r e a l — a date, an hour, a room i n a . b u i l d i n g that i s never the same room and seldom the same b u i l d i n g you go i n t o a l l year a t r e g u l a r times on a l t e r n a t e days o f the week.  Get d r e s s e d ,  walk"through the t r e e s , around wide puddles, over  gravelly  p a r k i n g l o t s , past f a l l e n branches, u g l y b u i l d i n g s , rows o f c a r s , huge sewer d i t c h e s , i n t o h a l l s , people, people  every-  where, c l i p - b o a r d s , c i g a r e t t e s , y e l l o w b l o u s e s , h a i r y arms. What's t h i s ?  When's t h a t ?  I couldnt care l e s s .  l a s t chatter chatter chatter. The American G r a i n w r i t t e n ?  Always t i i i s  Do you have a l i g h t ?  When was  He was an iraagist, wasnt he?  Q ^ i c k , t e l l me some other t h i n g s he wrote. Not even the r i g h t t i t l e s ,  i n f o r m a t i o n and c a t e g o r i e s  are t h i n g s t o throw around, t o show o f f with, i t doesnt matter  i f you've r e a d the works or not, what i s s a i d about i s  much more important  than what i s s a i d .  students about the c l o s e d grey doors:  There a r e c l u s t e r s o f some s i l e n t , l o o k i n g  downj some running t o the can; some yakky, r e a d i n g aloud; some s l o w l y pacing the c o r r i d o r ; some p e n s i v e , h i d i n g f e a r ; some laughy, t a l k i n g about tomorrow the teacher s a i l i n g marks the essay anything t o keep away from the moment, the t e s t .  The  door opens, i n s i d e on b l o a t e d arm desks, f a c e down, every second s e a t , l i e the exams.  The i n v i g i l a t o r s , and Dr. R u s s e l l  i s not one o f them, t a l k from the f r o n t , s i m u l t a n e o u s l y : 205 on the r i g h t , E n g l i s h lj.09 on the l e f t . Whose l e f t ?  Math  Whose r i g h t ?  Doesnt matter, the students I r e c o g n i z e a r e on  t h i s s i d e , so, here i t i s .  6 S i g n your name, place your number, course, s e c t i o n and i n s t r u c t o r ' s name.  Why t h a t ?  A Xerox sheet with e i g h t questions on:  date,  Definite at least.  answer f o u r ; w r i t e  c a r e f u l l y ; candidates w i l l be marked f o r o r g a n i z a t i o n as w e l l as content.  Every q u e s t i o n ends w i t h e t c . :  one says d i s c u s s  TWO c l a s s poems and ONE home poem by EACH o f the f o l l o w i n g FIVE w r i t e r s as t o symbolism, technique, rhythm, tone,  i n n o v a t i o n s , and e t c . :  imagery, meaning,  3 poems X 5 authors X 7  items a t l e a s t , t h a t i s 105 and more t h i n g s t o do i n 180 minutes d i v i d e d by i|. which i s ij.5 minutes not counting organization.  Each prose q u e s t i o n r e f e r s t o THREE novels and  ONE n o v e l l a or TWO short s t o r i e s , p l u s e t c . ; and the one drama q u e s t i o n j u s t happens t o cover FIVE p l a y s one o f which i s a t r i l o g y so that makes seven, and e t c . them:  S h i t on him and s h i t on  heads down, someone c l i c k s a b a l l p o i n t pen, another  and s c r a t c h e s , the one next t o me keeps k i c k i n g h i s l e g . no-one walks o u t .  dips And  WITH MY PEOPLE One day the t e a c h e r walked you t o w r i t e . immediately}  Just w r i t e . how long?  i n t o c l a s s and s a i d , I want  What about?  one student s a i d  s a i d another; what f o r ?  said a t h i r d .  Anything, she s a i d , t h i s room, who's next t o you, your mother's wart, how you f e e l r i g h t now.  grand-  What i f you cant?  s a i d a student; what i f your mind goes blank? you, she s a i d , nobody's mind goes b l a n k — y o u  I wont b e l i e v e s t i l l see, you  s t i l l hear, w r i t e about why you cant get s t a r t e d , w r i t e about the  girl  i n f r o n t of you who's w r i t i n g so much.  s a i d the student who had s a i d that p r e v i o u s l y . to  Cause I want  see how you w r i t e ; not you, p e r s o n a l l y ; but you I n g e n e r a l ,  the  whole c l a s s .  out  o r borrowed  So, they d i d , the whole c l a s s , they brought o r got paper from her, and wrote.  The next day the teacher walked some papers. something to  What f o r ?  The f i r s t  i n t o the c l a s s and r e a d  one was by a student who could  explain  i n such a way t h a t he understood i t but the person  whom he was e x p l a i n i n g thought he was c r a z y .  The second  one was about p u t t i n g down what he thought the teacher thought he s h o u l d t h i n k r a t h e r than what he h i m s e l f a c t u a l l y thought. The t h i r d one was about how t e a c h e r s must spend most o f t h e i r time t h i n k i n g up b o r i n g t o p i c s t o impose on students, how t h i s was a campaign which was almost one-hundred p e r c e n t s u c c e s s f u l , and how, now, w i t h no t o p i c , i t was i m p o s s i b l e t o write.  The c l a s s t a l k e d about these papers and the students  asked about essay w r i t i n g and the teacher l i s t e n e d and t r i e d  8 to  answer t h e i r q u e s t i o n s . Near the end o f the p e r i o d she s a i d , t h e one paper I  most want t o r e a d I havent because Why dont you? we?  the w r i t e r would be known.  s a i d one student, we're here t o l e a r n , a r e n t  She's r i g h t , s a i d another, I wouldnt want everyone t o  know i f i t was me.  I wouldnt  care, s a i d a t h i r d .  I would,  s a i d a f o u r t h , why dont you r e a d papers from other c l a s s e s ? They a l l t a l k e d about t h i s f o r a few moments except f o u r or f i v e who seldom s a i d a n y t h i n g and t h e n the buzaer went. 0  There was a s h o r t boy-man i n the c l a s s who was very s h o r t , no more than f o u r f e e t e l e v e n , probably f o u r e i g h t .  She stopped  him as he passed her t a b l e , I'd l i k e t o see you, she s a i d . And t h e f o u r or f i v e who remained n o t i c e d , stood back, watched the  l i t t l e man i n h i s denim Now?  class?  he s a i d f l a t l y .  o u t f i t l o o k s t r a i g h t up a t h e r . Do you, do you have another  she s a i d as she t r i e d t o move away from but couldnt  h e l p b u t be h e l d there by h i s eyes. i t doesnt matter.  Are you sure?  others c o u l d not hear. command almost.  I can miss i t , he s a i d ,  she s a i d q u i e t l y so t h a t the  Yes, he s a i d with no h e s i t a t i o n , a  He walked t o the door and stood there and  waited while she t a l k e d w i t h t h e o t h e r s , then the two of them left  together.  They were an odd p a i r moving through the h a l l s :  he so d e f i n i t e , h i s c l o t h e s , probably bought s e c t i o n o f a department  i n the c h i l d ' s  s t o r e , so c l e a n , so newj she so  i n s u b s t a n t i a l almost, although she c e r t a i n l y was not what you would c a l l a s m a l l woman, above him, awkwardly swinging her  9 c o l o u r e d woven bag a g a i n s t a s h o r t mauvey s k i r t . Her o f f i c e was  full,  i t d i d n t bother him, but she  l e t ' s t r y t o f i n d a p l a c e and he l e d the way. the chemistry l a b was she answered.  She  an empty t a b l e :  said  Just o u t s i d e of  here, he s a i d ; okay,  sat down, arranged h e r s e l f , t r i e d t o ask  him what she had t o ask him but i t came out, d i d you f a i l course before? Was  Yes, he s a i d , I dont t h i n k the way  i t the, the l i t e r a t u r e ?  him d i r e c t l y i n h i s eyes.  unreal.  She was  s a f e r now,  t h a t and answered y e s .  shoulder, t r y i n g to l o o k  I imagine i t ' s a l i e n t o you, i n her own  t e r r i t o r y , and he  she asked what she had wanted t o ask although now r e a l l y wanted t o ask was not?  she thought,  I'm  so s t u p i d , he's  so.  and  then  what she  Of course,  taken t h a t as an i n s u l t ,  s i l l y of me not to have guessed.  A f t e r a moment they p a r t e d .  He  strange f o r  her because she hadnt seen him smile before and had But i t was  how  But he hadnt taken i t as an  s m i l e d j u s t s l i g h t l y as they d i d so and t h a t was  he simply never d i d .  saw  about h i s s i z e and h i s bump.  he s a i d , i t ' s r i g h t , i t ' s t r u e .  i n s u l t , i t simply was  so  They t a l k e d f o r a few moments about  what he c o u l d do f o r her (no l i t e r a r y assignments)  Why  do.  she asked t r y i n g not t o l o o k at  the huge bump he had below h i s l e f t at  they  the  supposed  a l s o strange f o r her l a s t  n i g h t when she had read h i s paper;  she had n o t i c e d him i n  c l a s s because of h i s s i z e , because he never t a l k e d even when they were i n groups of f o u r or f i v e , because she had asked  him  a q u e s t i o n once and he simply r e p e a t e d the t e x t three times;  10  but she hadnt n o t i c e d h i s c o l o u r and hadnt thought  about h i s  o r i g i n , Okanagan I n d i a n the paper s a i d r i g h t near the b e g i n n i n g and she had had t o b r i n g out her s e a t i n g c h a r t t o f i n d out who he was. The f o l l o w i n g day the teacher walked i n t o the c l a s s and s a i d , I'm going t o read the paper I wanted t o r e a d y e s t e r d a y . The f o u r o r f i v e students who had remained a f t e r c l a s s knew who i t was, looked a t him.  He looked a t h e r .  q u i e t l y , and i t was much l i k e the o t h e r s . difficulty  She s t a r t e d ,  The primary  i n essay i s not i n t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n but i n the  s p e l l i n g and word usage:  they had gone through t h a t y e s t e r d a y ,  s p e l l i n g she marked b u t d i d n t take grades  o f f f o r , vocabulary  should be the w r i t e r ' s own so DONT DONT DONT use b i g words w i t h the i d e a t h e y ' l l get you marks because u n l e s s they're n a t u r a l t o you the tone w i l l s h i f t and i t ' l l  sound awkward.  Someone dropped a book and she l o o k e d up, waited a second. The f a c t t h a t I tend t o mingle t h e Okanagan Indian d i a l e c t s t r u c t u r e o f a sentence  i n t o what I am t r y i n g t o convey.  Immediately, the c l a s s stopped s h u f f l i n g , was q u i e t , f o r the f i r s t time s i n c e they had come t o g e t h e r , i t was so q u i e t t h a t the t r a f f i c n o i s e o u t s i d e and the f l u o r e s c e n t l i g h t s c o u l d be heard.  She r e a d on i n t o the s t i l l n e s s .  i s a p i e c e o f l a n d surrounded saying INDIAN RESERVATION.  inside  My h e r i t a g e  by a barb wire fence w i t h a s i g n  DO NOT TRESPASS.  She looked up at  him who was l o o k i n g a t h e r t o t a l l y e x p r e s s i o n l e s s , s o l i d , there.  Before I was a year o l d I was g i v e n a number and was  11 known by t h a t number In the Indian Department*  Someone near  the f r o n t wrote a q u e s t i o n i n h i s book but she d i d n t n o t i c e , felt  only the w r i t e r ' s presence, moved w i t h h i s rhythms. When I was  two years o l d I f e l t the c o l d d r a f t of the  winter winds coming through the house t h a t the white c a l l a shack. without  At t h r e e I knew the meaning of going t o bed  supper, not because I was  wasn't enough f o o d . at  people  because of my  a bad boy,  but because there  At f o u r I knew the p a i n of being  c l o t h i n g , speech, and manners.  laughed  Then a t f i v e  I saw my f a t h e r cry because the Indian Agent wouldnt l e t him s e l l h i s crop at the market f o r f o o d and c l o t h i n g . I was  gathered  w i t h others my m i l e s away.  in a l i t t l e  And a t s i x  church y a r d and loaded i n t o a t r u c k  age and sent t o a r e s i d e n t i a l s c h o o l a thousand  Yes,  t h i s i s what I remember of my young days on  a reservation. She paused, c o u l d f e e l the whole c l a s s , tense, r i g h t t h e r e , w a i t i n g but not w a i t i n g .  She glanced a t him who  was  s m i l i n g , the f i r s t time he had had anything r e a d out; but t h a t was  not i t , he was  s m i l i n g at them f e e l i n g s o r r y , being  quiet,, the v e r y t h i n g he l e a s t wanted. t h a t s c h o o l were proud of molding me  so  The nuns and p r i e s t  into a c i v i l i z e d  Indian.  F o r twelve years I wasn't allowed to go home f o r f e a r I  may  become d i f f i c u l t  saw  to t e a c h .  So f o r twelve years  of  I never  my parents and f o r twelve years I d i d n ' t hear from theiq. Because they couldnt w r i t e and my l e t t e r s couldn't be answered and so alone I s t o o d .  The teacher looked at him  and he  could  12 see she a l s o had i t wrong, was moved, and they a l l c o u l d hear her v o i c e s t a r t i n g t o break, so she stopped b e f o r e r e a d i n g the l a s t sentence, gathered i t i n , and then i t came o u t . For my a l l e g i a n c e i s w i t h my people and not t h e image makers.  The c l a s s s a i d n o t h i n g f o r a minute, what c o u l d they  say, some l o o k e d a t her t r y i n g t o h o l d back, some l o o k e d at him who was s m i l i n g a l l over, others d i d n t l o o k up at a l l . Then, as i f one, they c l a p p e d . true, isn't  it.  What f o r ?  It's right, i t ' s  When that stopped they asked q u e s t i o n s , he  answered, d i r e c t l y , each one, c l o s e l y , and he smiled a t her as he took over and she s m i l e d back and t r i e d not t o c r y .  WHERE THEY ARE The S.I.U. h a l l i s a c t u a l l y an o l d bank.  It i s  s i t u a t e d on the corner of Cordova and M a i n — a c r o s s  from the  p o l i c e s t a t i o n , a Chinese newsstand, and a second hand s t o r e . These f o u r b u i l d i n g s — t w o wooden w i t h windows, the other made of s t o n e — f o r m  the c o r n e r .  The corner l o o k s  unbalanced  because both the u n i o n h a l l w i t h I t s l a r g e g l a s s doors the Chinese  two  and  shop w i t h i t s s m a l l g l a s s door open i n t o i t .  pawnshop, covered by a canvas awning, merely SAFETY BUILDING:  The  faces the PUBLIC  o l d s h i r t s , c o a t s , shoes, g u i t a r s l o o k out  a c r o s s the t r a f f i c i n t o squares  of wine and grey  stone.  People stand i n f r o n t o f the a p p l e - o r a n g e - c r a c k e r j a c k - s c a n d a l magazine s t o r e , and t a l k . h a l l , and smoke.  Men  s i t on the g r a n i t e steps of the  But no one stops t o l o o k i n t o the pawnshop  window and a l l hurry past the p o l i c e - c o u r t - s t a t i o n , t o be, more o f t e n than not, stopped by a r e d l i g h t . I've been here b e f o r e :  once w i t h Ken, my  i f you can c a l l a l o v e r ex or a boy, but he was  exboyfriend, not a man  not t o t a l l y & l o v e r and not r e a l l y a f r i e n d ; and once by  and myself  on a day o f f from the P r i n c e s s of Vancouver on which I worked as a stewardess.  The f i r s t  time, w i t h Ken,  I d i d not  go  i n s i d e f o r the simple r e a s o n he s a i d I c o u l d not and mumbled something about members only so I sulked i n h i s car and  later  t r i e d to h i d e from him the f a c t t h a t I'd enjoyed watching people go by.  The second  time, by myself,  one morning a f t e r r i d i n g the busses  the  I walked i n e a r l y  f o r an hour or so.  I sat  on the padded bench beneath a job board and wrote a l e t t e r t o a f r i e n d o f mine about the bus r i d e , the h a l l , and how I might want t o become a p o l i c e woman--at l e a s t  I'd be i n  Vancouver, I had s a i d , and I would, i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y , see and do t h i n g s I had not b e f o r e , i . e . I'd get t o know the c i t y and people  i n a way that would be impossible  I've got t o do something, I t h i n k . there are few men:  really  Inside the h a l l  t h r e e s i t at a t a b l e , one reading a news-  paper, the o t h e r two p l a y i n g checkers. i n an o f f i c e .  otherwise,  I dont want t o work  On the r i g h t w a l l i s a job board which i s  just a s e r i e s o f g l a s s cases f i l l e d w i t h c o l o u r e d  cards:  the man whose c a r d i s i n the top l e f t  f i r s t b i d on a j o b ; next  corner has  to the r i g h t , second, and so on.  I  dont want t o go back t o s c h o o l ; but I've s a i d that b e f o r e . Two men are s t a n d i n g there l o o k i n g at the c a r d s : tanned, has a s h o r t crewcut, i s wearing a t i g h t  one i s w e l l striped  T - s h i r t ; the other i s o l d , has on pressed k h a k i s , i s smoking rollins:  they are seeing where they are i n r e l a t i o n t o  everyone e l s e .  I j u s t cant see b e i n g cooped i n one spot  doing the same t h i n g over and over a g a i n f o r another  eight  months or a y e a r . At the end o f the h a l l on the f a r r i g h t bar:  behind  with a s t i c k .  i s a coffee  i t a f a t woman i s p u l l i n g used mugs towards her She g i v e s an impression o f slowness but there  i s no wasted motion.  On the immediate l e f t  i s a curved r e d  counter which s t a r t s from j u s t i n s i d e the door and goes the  15 width o f the room end:  behind i t , at a desk, a t h i n woman of  t h i r t y , i s t y p i n g ; on i t , l e a n i n g from the i n s i d e , a whiteh a i r e d man f i l l s up.  out forms.  I walk towards him and he looks  You used t o be on B l a c k B a l l , he says.  a s h i p p i n g book.  No...but I have  That's odd, I could have sworn I saw you  here b e f o r e - - j u s t come back from the l a k e s ?  No...I, I asked  you about a job i n June while I was on the Vancouver  and you  t o l d me t o stay t h e r e because  Do you  want to r e - g i s - t e r ?  i t was steady and....  He doesn't understand, I'm not a member,  I say. Can you work...are you a - v a i l - a b - l e ?  He speaks s l o w l y  and d e l i b e r a t e l y , asks a few more q u e s t i o n s , t h e n opens a brown 1 0 / s c r i b b l e r and c a r e f u l l y w r i t e s my name and telephone number i n p e n c i l .  I n o t i c e the book i s t w o - t h i r d s f u l l but  dont ask him about i t .  He t e l l s me that a m e s s g i r l might be  g e t t i n g o f f the Skeena next Thursday but not t o count on i t because women a r e always changing t h e i r minds, they say one t h i n g and do another and i t a l l depends on b o y f r i e n d s and t h i n g s l i k e t h a t , but she had t o l d someone she was t a k i n g o f f although she hadnt n o t i f i e d the h a l l or him which she i s supposed  t o do, and b e s i d e s t h a t I have t o r e a l i z e t h a t i f a  member wants the job, she gets i t ; but i f she i s n t I n the h a l l , she doesnt; so h e ' l l phone me and t e l l me and I should be ready j u s t i n c a s e . I thank him and walk to the end of the h a l l — t o o q u i c k l y , t o o c l u m s i l y , everyone e l s e , i n c l u d i n g the white-  h a i r e d man, moves slowly w i t h g r a c e . counter asks i f I'm s h i p p i n g out.  The woman behind the  I dont know.  Come down  here b e f o r e t e n and three^everyday, she says, we're s h o r t handed, good g i r l s are hard t o g e t . and s m i l e s , you a student? think.  She g i v e s me a c o f f e e  I nod, i s i t that obvious, I  Her whole body seems t o s m i l e , t o be open, I d i d n t go  past grade e i g h t myself, d i d n t see no n e c e s s i t y t o , those days.  A l r i g h t , a l r i g h t , I'm coming, she says t o the guy  around the c o r n e r , you must have b u i l t - i n antennas  or some-  t h i n g , i t seems that everytirae" I get myself i n t o t a l k i n g you j u s t come a-runnlng outa...she has an e a s i n e s s o f s e l f and motion t h a t I l i k e .  I d l i k e t o ask h e r q u e s t i o n s , t o l i s t e n f  to her, t o f i n d out what I'd do.  The man i n t h e s t r i p e d top  says, l e t me get the k i d ' s , then swings around the p i l l a r and s i t s on the s t o o l beside me.  I can get you on next week i f  you want t o , he says while l o o k i n g at ray boobs. The r e s t  i s a b l u r of t a n and blue eye-s, o f walking up  an a l l e y , and some beer at the Empress.  The p l a c e i s dark,  as a l l our pubs are a f t e r walking i n from o u t s i d e on even a d u l l summer day.  The p l a c e i s crowded, compared with o t h e r s ,  and the people are more t a l k y even i f they dont know you. Are you s h i p p i n g out k i d ; what would I do, where do they go, i s i t hard; you never been on the o u t s i d e ?  why i t gets  rough, why I've seen some r e a l s a i l o r s who wouldnt l i s t e n t o him, i t ' s n o t h i n g .  even...dont  A f t e r a beer, on ray way t o the  can an o l d woman asks f o r a c i g a r e t t e , so, I g i v e her one.  Dont do that a g a i n , honey, s h e ' l l be a f t e r you, you know, she s i t s here day a f t e r day begging, you know.  You new t o  t h i s p a r t o f town, a i n t you, w e l l stay away, your k i n d dont belong here: You  cracked t i l e s , brandy, paper a l l over the c a n .  sure you dont want some, sweetie, I t ' s f r e e ,  it'll  warm you up, I a i n t got germs:  no towels, o n l y t o i l e t  one s i n k i s plugged w i t h h a i r .  What took you so l o n g , got  lost  i n the h o l e , shut up w i l l you she's mine:  paper,  a plump b e l l y , A  a y e l l o w T - s h i r t , t h r e e t a t t o o s around the t a b l e .  You know a  f i n e g i r l l i k e you has no b u s i n e s s on s h i p s , why dont you get a n i c e job t y p i n g o r something: beer g l a s s e s a l l over t h e t a b l e .  cardboard c i r c l e s ,  peanuts,  Maybe she should^ t e a c h , no  I t h i n k you'd make a good nurse, women shouldnt be allowed on boats p e r i o d not even as passengers: c i g a r e t t e s , more beer.  cheezles, pastrami,  Take one f o r y e r s e l f ; thanks; we  a l r e a d y have t h r e e u n i v e r s i t y nuts around--that young yahoo, without the shoes, you know who I mean, that b i g monkey who p l a y e d drums w i t h the o i l cans when we were u n l o a d i n g i n T a h s i s , o r , o r , or, or no, R i v e r s I n l e t , t h e one who says he's t a k i n g s c i e n c e o r something--Ken, t h a t ' s h i s name, you know him? I dont want t o say I do because  I dont want t o be  connected w i t h him, and I dont want t o say I dont i n case I meet him around the h a l l , so I say I've heard o f him and l e a v e i t a t t h a t because  t h e man t a l k i n g doesnt r e a l l y expect me to.  know him anyway and w i t h so many boats t h a t dont ship women I  18 dont expect t o see him e i t h e r , because working  the summer we were both  a n d . t r y i n g t o get t o g e t h e r i t was  more than f o u r hours every second week. a lift  impossible to f o r C'mon, 1*11  g i v e you  home, says the tanned f e l l o w whose name Is John.  You're not going t o take her away from us a l r e a d y are you, Whitey, the p l u m p - b e l l i e d man,  as he s i g n a l s another  says  round.  The b a r t e n d e r laughs at some j i b e a guy at another t a b l e makes and a c a p t a i n a r r i v e s from the a l l e y entrance, hugs Johnny old  boy howya doing, s l a p s Whitey you c r a z y s h i t s t i l l  old  tub?  whatza matter w i t h you, t a k i n g up  on the  homesteading?,  f a l l s backwards as John says t h i s Is Kurt, t i p s a t a b l e of  beer and knocks someone's money o f f :  full  money, c i g a r e t t e  • b u t t s , beer j u i c e , l e g s , on the f l o o r . W e l l a i n t that  j u s t , someone punches Kurt.  Then H a l  from our t a b l e h i t s that someone and i t i s n t l i k e the movies or  TV at a l l where i t goes on f o r minutes w i t h I n s u l t s and  grimaces  and dodges and sounds:  that f a s t .  that,  A broken nose without any s e e i n g , just a sense of  motion a f t e r , not d u r i n g . quick.  j u s t two h i t s , l i k e  C'mon k i d , l e t ' s get out of here,  He shoves me past other t a b l e s where people arent the  l e a s t b i t concerned, out the a l l e y where the cop s t a t i o n i s , almost t o the s t r e e t . t o . . . l o o k I'm  But he's h u r t , I say, arent you going  i n enough t r o u b l e as i t i s without g e t t i n g  i n v o l v e d i n a — W h i t e y knows him, he's got f r i e n d s , h e ' l l be looked a f t e r : out, l e g s  water i n an eye and a drop of b l o o d coming  straddled.  19 As we get t o the curb Johnny l e t s go o f my arm and says, i f you want t o go back, go; I'm c r o s s i n g the f u c k i n g s t r e e t and i f you dont want t o come i t makes no d i f f e r e n c e t o me. He walks across and I s t a y . light,  Blue eyes, I cant t h i n k , so  I dont know e i t h e r , the l i g h t i t s e l f ' s b o t h e r i n g me, I  cant h e l p , I wish Ken were here, i t , Johnny's probably r i g h t , I'm going back t o see, I shouldnt get, he doesnt what happened t o him.  S'long k i d , Johnny shouts, s ' l o n g .  l i g h t , as I t u r n i n t o i t , w i t h my t o e .  even know  shows dust l a y e r s .  I k i c k a stone  The telephone p o l e s and the mesh-wire fence w i t h  i t s metal p o l e s stand out:  I hadnt n o t i c e d them b e f o r e .  wonder i f t h i s i s what i t i s l i k e t o be h i g h or drunk. dont t h i n k o f the f i g h t . He's  I And I  I o n l y know I'm going t h e r e .  not i n s i d e and n e i t h e r i s Whitey and n e i t h e r i s  Hal nor the guy w i t h the broken nose. the tap man near the gents the back.  The  I see a cop t a l k i n g t o  s e c t i o n up f r o n t so I leave out  I go down the a l l e y t h i n k i n g o f the woman i n t h e  h a l l i n her b l u e - f l o w e r e d house d r e s s ; of Hal's quickness, i t couldnt even be seen, f a s t e r than a l e a n i n g over t o l i g h t a c i g a r e t t e , just an arm out l i k e t h a t ; o f Johnny's c l e a r  light  b l u e eyes, and Ken who i s darker but what Whitey s a i d o f him. I t u r n the corner and go t o the Cordova/Main i n t e r s e c t i o n : a r e d t u r r e t two s t o r i e s above the pawn shop, WE BUY AND EXCHANGE GOODS w r i t t e n on the window f a r below i t :  I guess  the balance does make sense, people l i v e t h e r e , I wait f o r the l i g h t then cross t o t h a t s i d e .  SUCH AS IT IS Ken i s p a i n t i n g the o u t s i d e of the wheelhouse. see him as I come up the grease covered gangplank  I can  i n high-  h e e l s I should have had enough sense not t o put on cause i t ' s o b v i o u s l y not a passenger  s h i p , and although the plank does  have r a i l i n g s t h e r e a r e s l i t s between the wood: i s , Ken, p a i n t i n g the o u t s i d e o f t h e wheelhouse.  and t h e r e he The very  person I l e a s t want t o , he turns and smiles i n t h a t l o o s e shambly way of h i s , and says MISS Henderson, how DO you DO. Howdyalike to  t h a t , f u c k him, what am I supposed  t o say, p l e a s e d  see you here, w e l l I c e r t a i n l y am not, how are you doing,  t h a t ' s q u i t e obvious, whoya screwing now?  I t might be a l r i g h t  i f I knew i t was over, i f i t had i n someway r e s o l v e d i f we had had a f i g h t o r something  definite.  itself,  He comes c l o s e r ,  chest near my eye c l o s e , stands over me w i t h h i s p a i n t b r u s h . I simply say, h i Ken, I d i d n t know you were on t h i s boat.  I t ' s not f a i r ,  p a r t i c u l a r l y on my f i r s t r u n , i f he  t h i n k s he's, I t r y t o t u r n r i g h t but h i s arm b l o c k s me, going to:  c'mon you b i g monkey, l e t the l a s s go, says a round man  j u s t behind him whose head I cant s e e . Some of us has manners, the s h o r t man i n c o v e r a l l s says, some o f us knows when we're not wanted. moves back.  But you dont know Jan, says Ken as he  Ken waves h i s brush near my nose then turns  towards h i s bucket.  Jock i n t r o d u c e s h i m s e l f and a low v o i c e  from i n s i d e the c a b i n shouts, you g o t t a watchout f o r t h a t  21 d i r t y o l d man,  Dont l i s t e n t o Beebo, he's j u s t  j e a l o u s , says  Jock as he grabs my s u i t c a s e and takes me down t h e l a d d e r , around the winch, and i n t o the s h i p . asks, j u s t on the f e r r i e s ; which one? ever r u n i n t o T i g e r Smith?  You s a i l e d before? he the Vancouver; d i d y a  w e l l they s o r t a t r i e d t o keep  the g i r l s separate from the crew by making us eat i n d i f f e r e n t p l a c e s , b u t , but i s n t he the b i g Newfy; yeah, t h a t ' s the o n e — as you can gather f o r y o u r s e l f t h i s i s n t the C.P.R. Yes, I can see t h a t THAT i t c e r t a i n l y i s not:  grey  d i r t y paper covers the f l o o r , rags hang on a s t a i r c a s e r a i l i n g , a broken c h a i r l i e s l e g s up.  T h i s here's the  passengers' lounge, he says, such as i t i s , and t h a t ' s where the o f f i c e r s e a t :  t o o t h p i c k s i n a s e a l e d j a r , d i r t y mugs, an  empty C r i s c o t i n on the t a b l e ; a couple of yards or so beyond it  i s a l o n g e r t a b l e covered i n p l a s t i c , canvas bundles o f  l a u n d r y s i t on t h e bench. about  We move i n t o the g a l l e y which i s  as b i g as a l a r g e bathroom, as hot as a c o o l sauna, and  n o i s i e r than a p r i n t  shop or a s m a l l m i l l .  Get y o u r s e l f a  c o f f e e , l a s s , I ' l l go an f e t c h Puppi, he shouts over the racket.  The mugs are a l l i n the s i n k , damn t h a t Ken anyway,  I t r y to r i n s e one out but t h e r e ' s no water, i t ' s not t h a t I'd, around the t a p hangs a can w i t h holes punched In t h e bottom and bars o f what s m e l l s l i k e P e l s Naptha i n s i d e , mind that much i f , water s t a r t s d r i b b l i n g , I had, handle's t o o hot, done i t b e f o r e .  I snatch a p i e c e o f sheet or p i l l o w  case o f f the wire that runs above both s i n k s and the d r a i n b o a r d .  22 But I havent and dont, I pour the c o f f e e and manage t o g e t some on the towel, know how, I l o o k around t o see t h a t no one's watching, I ' l l make out, I r i n s e the towel o f f w i t h water from the k e t t l e . That's not i t ,  i f o n l y — I go i n t o the room t o my  r i g h t which i s p e r p e n d i c u l a r t o the g a l l e y — i f only we, there i s a b l a c k b o a r d on the w a l l :  smirr  1300  Pour d i f f e r e n t w r i t i n g s , I3OO t h a t ' s 12 and 1 so 1 o ' c l o c k and I t must be around 11:30  so an hour and a h a l f from, i f  he d i d n t smile l i k e he owns, I l o o k at the t a b l e :  sugar and  honey and canned m i l k , c o f f e e s t a i n s , s a l t and pepper and t o o t h p i c k s , used a s h t r a y s , chutney and H.P, and Tobassco and Worchester sauce, open newspapers, paper napkins, marmalade.  ketchup and mustard and  Me, no t h a t ' s not i t ,  he j u s t  doesnt l i k e , I s i t down, me t o , green o i l c l o t h I havent seen that s i n c e :  a middle aged woman who has a p o n y - t a i l h e l d  together w i t h a r e d e l a s t i c band walks i n .  23 You t h e new m e s s g i r l , she asks, I»m Doreen, what dya go by?  She has a d i r t y white r a g pinned about h e r t h i c k middle  and h e r h a i r ' s a l l f r i z z y but she looks g e n t l e , you the cook?  I'm Jan, are  Nah, I'm j u s t through r e l i e v i n g Coco, gonna  get o f f t h i s s t i n k i n g s h i p , thank God f o r t h a t . . . g o t d i f f e r e n t shoes?  In my s u i t c a s e — w h y dya say t h a t ?  h a l f - q u e s t i o n i n g , then understands.  She looks a t me  The guys wont g i v e you no  t r o u b l e , you know what I mean, i t ' s j u s t t h e , w e l l you shoulda seen the f u c k i n g mess Coco l e f t me and the junk she ordered; you know Jan I dont care how gooda cook someone i s , you know i f they havent  got enough meat t h e r e ' s n o t h i n g they can do,  n o t h i n g ; and you should see the pans, they're not b i g enough f o r t e n and I had t h i r t y so i t ' s I n and out I n and out t h a t damn oven which doesnt have a thermometer mind you so you have t o open i t t o c o o l i t down.  I smile at h e r and t r y t o say  t h a t sounds awful but i t doesnt come out and she puts her hand around  i n t o t h e g a l l e y , p i c k s up a k n i f e , Looka t h i s t h i n g w i l l you, i t ' s not sharp enough f o r  bread, that damn Coco h i d h e r s ; you shoulda seen me t r y i n g t o cut r o a s t s w i t h t h i s t h i n g , that was a s i g h t t o see:  a small  French k n i f e meant f o r v e g e t a b l e s , I just l o o k at her and i t . No s p i c e s , j u s t s a l t and pepper, and I r a n outa f l o u r j u s t wait t i l l  even,  I meet her, I ' l l l e t her know a t h i n g or two.  She's got a t w i s t e d s m i l e and I t h i n k she's t r y i n g t o convince h e r s e l f that she w i l l say something because  she doesnt  t h a t angry and doesnt l o o k the least b i t v i n d i c t i v e .  sound  Have you  2k  met  that German broad they have as stewardess?  Not y e t .  W e l l she's a case, outa my road, outa my way, eerruuhh eerruuhh, and f i g h t ?  f i g h t you never seen anything l i k e i t ,  she and B e t t y have been going at i t a l l r u n and now they dont even speak t o each o t h e r :  so i t ' s Doreen, t e l l B e t t y t h i s ;  Doreen, ask Puppi f o r t h a t ; b u t t e r i n g toast i s B e t t y ' s j o b ; Puppi's got the boys' honey, Doreen, make Puppi b r i n g the honey back. job,  I t sounds c o n f u s i n g I say and t h i n k i f i t i s her  she should do i t , and i f they dont have two honeys, they  should get them, i t doesnt make much sense. She wants t o t a l k on but has to s t a r t cooking so I ask her where I can put my s u i t c a s e , she doesnt know what s i d e I ' l l be on much l e s s where I ' l l be bunking, where I can I r o n a uniform, she doesnt know t h a t e i t h e r and then I n o t i c e t h a t she's probably worn the same one a l l t r i p .  So I do the only  t h i n g I can t h i n k o f doing and t h a t Is u s i n g a towel on the g a l l e y counter because Okay here? I shout. take t o o * l o n g because  I cant see an o u t l e t anywhere e l s e .  A l r i g h t w i t h me, she answers, b u t dont the boys'11 be coming I n . I l o o k at my  i r o n , AC/DC, I guess i t ' l l work, at l e a s t the  boat sounds  l i v e l y and as f a r as Ken goes i f I j u s t . . . l o o k i t , no water, how do they expect me t o cook without water? of  Steam s p u r t s out  the tap, Doreen stands back from i t l o o k i n g , and a l i t t l e  man-woman comes running i n t o the g a l l e y , s c r e e c h i n g t h a t ' s my space at me, outa my way, outa my way. I'm supposed  She pushes the towel  t o be i r o n i n g on over, swears i n another  language  25 at  Doreen,  something  and runs out of the room cawing about the c h i e f or and the b o i l e r and greenhorns.  As she's going a l l I can see are h a i r y a n k l e s , t u r q u o i s e s l i p p e r s , a white u n i f o r m c o v e r i n g an almost s t r a i g h t body, a shaved neck.  See what I mean, Doreen says  as she l e a n s her hand on the counter, I dont know how puts up w i t h i t .  Doreen smooths out my  i r o n the w r i n k l y c o l l a r . I'm  towel and I s t a r t t o  By the time the l i t t l e  about halfway through.  Coco  crow r e t u r n s  She opens a huge w a l k - i n f r i g  which i s next t o the s i n k , b r i n g s out two pounds of b u t t e r , g i v e s Doreen a n a s t y l o o k which Doreen i g n o r e s , t h e n s t a r t s c u t t i n g b u t t e r about s i x inches from my towel edge.  It's  s h e i s t u n i o n t h i s and s h e i s t u n i o n that and t r a i n i n g new who  help  dont s t i c k w i t h i t . . . a r e you going t o s t a y w i t h i t , no,  you wont s t a y w i t h i t , Puppi w i l l show you, ask Puppi, Puppi w i l l t e l l you, w e l l Puppi wont, Puppi's s i c k o f I t , Puppi wont show anyone how  t o do a n y t h i n g anymore.  She slams the b u t t e r  i n t o round f r u i t d i s h e s and says y o u ' l l have t o get your  own.  I j u s t l o o k down at h e r , the b o y s ' l l be i n , I s t i l l l o o k , i f B e t t y doesnt set up you have t o — s h e f l i e s out of the g a l l e y to  the o f f i c e r - p a s s e n g e r  side.  But, I say, but I dont know what t o do, I t h i n k . Doreen s m i l e s over to me from the s t o v e , s t i r s the doesnt say a word.  soup,  I t r y t o h u r r y but I'm not any good, I  i r o n more creases i n than w r i n k l e s out, I b e t t e r l e a v e i t as i t . . . I need m i l k , Puppi announces t o the two of u s .  Get your  26 own, says Doreen, I'm busy.  Puppi marches up t o me, eyebrows  r i p p l i n g , get me some milk? she says c h i l d i s h l y . it's  so important, but where, and why cant she.  Why not, i f I go towards  the w a l k - i n without saying anything, she tugs me by my blouse:  not t h e r e — t h e boys' f r i g .  She p o i n t s me t o the  other room then stands a t the d o o r s i l l , f e e t i n g a l l e y , body l e a n i n g over t o see and d i r e c t . she s c r e e c h e s .  Not that one, the enamel,  So, I move j a r s of water and cans o f j u i c e  over and p u l l out the one she wants, she nods y e s , but when I get  i t over t o her she snatches i t , no thank you, no s m i l e , j u s t  a c o l d grab.  Doreen takes no n o t i c e , keeps her back t u r n e d ,  fills  the k e t t l e .  ask:  two stew t o f o l l o w , one bean up, the crow caws from the  other s i d e .  I wait t i l l  Puppi's out o f the g a l l e y t o  I wait f o r Doreen t o d i s h out the beans b e f o r e :  Puppi runs I n , elbows Doreen over, l a d l e s soup i n t o two bowls t h e n takes a l l three d i s h e s out at once. Doreen, where can I :  see she doesnt have t o do that  does she: we laugh because we both spoke a t once and laugh I c r o s s my l e g s laugh, Doreen l o o k s at the t a p laugh, a t the k n i f e iaugh and l a u g h and l a u g h a c u r l y headed young man walks i n l a u g h sees the two o f us, one bent  over, the other  s t a n d i n g on one l e g , l a u g h and he laughs at us l a u g h i n g a t him l o o k i n g a t — t w o beans no dogs, Puppi c a w s — l a u g h i n g  at her.  C'mon you two magpies, g e t the food on, he says between laughs.  He p i c k s up my uniform, f i r s t  t r i p p e r ? he says t o me  l a u g h i n g as I f o l l o w h i r a / l * l a u g h i n g i n t o the next room and g i g g l e yes as he throws i t on the c l u t t e r e d bench.  I'm Beebo,  27 he  says, and I laugh a t h i s v o i c e as he p u l l s unwhitened f l a t  shoes out of my s u i t c a s e and g i v e s them t o me, so empty, so d i r t y , one by one, what a funny name.  Laughing I cant t i e  them, the l i t t l e p l a s t i c ends l o o k so s i l l y ,  and Beebo's  busy p u l l i n g paper o f f the t a b l e arid I cant ask him, I can so t i e them but ray f o o t wont s t a y and he n o t i c e s and t i e s them f o r me. it  He puts a towel around my middle l a u g h i n g , yanks  i n , makes a knot.  He g i v e s me a r a g t o wipe the t a b l e  w i t h and puts s i l v e r down every time I go once over a space but  i t ' s c e r t a i n l y not c l e a n :  the s a l t s h a k e r f a l l And  the f l a t l i t t l e t o o t h p i c k s i n  out and I keep l a u g h i n g .  i t ' s shake a l e g , c'mon, c'mon:  g l a s s e s out o f  c o o l e r , water jugs, one half-empty, dont l e t L e f t y see t h a t , bread from the w a l k - i n on a saucer h e e l up, b u t t e r , cut some b u t t e r , we g o t t a cover f o r B e t t y , a s h t r a y s , c l e a n them, cant let  her get canned too, c r a c k e r s , around the d r y cupboard past  the stove on the other s i d e t o your r i g h t , get some honey while you're at i t . Ho-ot, Ho-ot, Puppi caws as I r u n back past her and I miss.  Be more c a r e f u l , on a s h i p you g o t t a be  c a r e f u l , she screefshes.  I get the c r a c k e r s to Beebo and two  men walk Into the mess:  H a l from the Empress and whrripp-  whruu, get a l o a d o f t h a t , some r u n t h i s i s going t o . t h i s Is L e f t y , says H a l who I met l a s t week.  Jan,  Lefty grins a  cocky s o r t a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d g r i n as he looks me over b u t Hal's look i s d i r e c t , r i g h t i n .  I want t o ask H a l about t h e  f i g h t and the guy who was hurt but dont because something  t e l l s me not to and L e f t y and Beebo are here. quite quickly:  They s i t down,  Hal on the o u t s i d e near the door, L e f t y  on  the i n s i d e on the bench t a k i n g up h a l f the t a b l e , Beebo on the end i n a c h a i r h i s back to the  frig.  L e f t y bangs h i s elbows, Where's my food? he r o a r s . What w i l l you have? I ask. cant r u i n them.  Give me  some beans, at l e a s t  Then b e f o r e I go i n t o the g a l l e y I take the  other two orders which somehow p e r t u r b s him, thought he was  she  I sense, I  t e a s i n g , but what the h e l l I can remember  three t h i n g s at once:  soup p l e a s e — i t ' s packaged, i s n t i t ? ,  yes, okay, I ' l l take i t says Beebo; and i t ' s t e a only p l e a s e f o r Hal.  When I b r i n g out the o v e r b o i l e d beans and murky  chicken-noodle soup, L e f t y asks the t a b l e at l a r g e , Where's Betty?  I hand him h i s p l a t e and w h i l e he s n i f f s i t :  p i s s e y e d , excuse my language, s l e e p i n g i t o f f i n her c a b i n .  Jan, says Beebo, the l a d y i s I go out and make Hal's t e a and  when I r e t u r n I t ' s pass the peanut  b u t t e r and where the  dickens are a l l the a s h t r a y s ; and when I r e t u r n from the d r a i n i n g board Beebo says q u i t e h e l p f u l l y , Jan, l o v e , when you make t e a check t o see the k e t t l e ' s b o i l i n g , w i l l you? see t h a t ?  I go over and l o o k i n Hal's mug:  the water i s a  l i g h t green, around the bag i t ' s s l i g h t l y brown. I say t o him,  I ' l l make you another.  mind, I didnt want i t anyway.  I'm  sorry,  But Hal says never  So Beebo reaches back without  l e a v i n g h i s c h a i r and opens the c o o l e r and b r i n g s out the milk.  Jan, t h a t ' s not our jug, says L e f t y more p o l i t e l y .  What's the d i f f e r e n c e , says H a l . There's a few seconds s i l e n c e before Jock a r r i v e s ,  sits  on the o u t s i d e next t o H a l , orders soup me l o v e , and then Beebo asks f o r more b r e a d , and H a l passes the t o o t h p i c k s to L e f t y who says he d i d n t know anyone could do t h a t to beans. Then i t ' s why dont you s i t down and r e s t your l e g s , you're e n t i t l e d t o a h a l f - h o u r l u n c h and j u s t because  these other  women around here dont take i t i s no r e a s o n f o r you not t o : it's  i n the c o n t r a c t , one-half hour, t h i r t y minutes, c'mon  now t h e r e ' s n o t h i n g you can do t i l l  we're f i n i s h e d  eating.  They seem t o want me t o so I do on t h e bench next t o L e f t y w i t h my f e e t on Beebo's c h a i r rungs.  So w h i l e Puppi runs  back and f o r t h through t h e g a l l e y s l a p p i n g i n s t a n t  pudding  i n t o f r u i t d i s h e s and Doreen smokes at the counter because more shore crew might t u r n up, I s i t i n the mess, as the boys c a l l i t , and d r i n k water* Hal  o f f e r s me a P l a y e r s , Jock passes i t , I take i t ,  and say thank you t o b o t h but I dont want t o s i t here and smoke because to  I know I should be working y e t I dont want  do the d i s h e s i f i t ' s going t o take twenty minutes t o  fill  the s i n k so I get up to s t a r t the water r u n n i n g :  excuse me, I ' l l be r i g h t back, I'm j u s t going t o : grabs me by the towel end and p u l l s .  but L e f t y  I push h i s arm:  it's  hard but not boney, I t r y not t o h i t the p o r t w i t h my head, duck, push harder and, Ken walks i n . knee L e f t y i n the t h i g h :  He s m i l e s over as I  dont b o t h e r , I can get my own, he  says.  Dont bother, t h a t ' s j u s t l i k e him, dont bother w i t h  anything but Ken,  Ken, Ken.  t a l k i n g w i t h Doreen. s t i c k out my i f he has  I say.  He's  And L e f t y f i n a l l y l e t s me  arm t o c a t c h my  something  Ken,  i n the g a l l e y go and as I  balance H a l , Hal l o o k s at me  f i g u r e d out.  as  THEY KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING Nobody i s moving q u i c k l y because when they do move q u i c k l y they o n l y have t o wait so why move q u i c k l y .  The  longshoremen c a t c h the s l i n g s , s l o w l y p l a c e t h e pipes  into  the s i d e s o f wooden f l a t s which a r e loaded w i t h c r a t e s o f beer.  The men steady the wires as the w i n c h d r i v e r h a u l s the  l o a d up, then i t swings above the dock over the water over the Nootka, pauses a few seconds as he moves t o another handle, hold.  j e r k s as he c e n t e r s i t , then down i t goes i n t o the The men on t h e dock stand there and wait and yak.  Towmotors w i t h f u l l  c r a t e s o f Kotex, Toastmaster  Bread,  canned 7-UP, b a i l s o f wire, weave back and f o r t h around t h e dock i n and out the warehouse.  The machines themselves  q u i c k l y but the men on them do n o t - - i t looks easy, light  move  they  c i g a r e t t e s , stop when they l o a d , stop when they u n l o a d :  how many more...you going up t o the P r i n c e t o n . . . h i s o l d l a d y caught him l a s t n i g h t .  Nobody seems p a r t i c u l a r l y happy or  unhappy, they j u s t know what they're doing and how t o do i t . How come you're not a t the P r i n c e t o n w i t h the others? the w i n c h d r i v e r asks me as he waits f o r the men below t o unload. Nah,  I dont  answer, j u s t smile a t him:  i s t h a t hard?  wanta t r y i t ? he says as he steps out from the gears.  I l o o k a t the metal s t i c k s and huge green wheels o f wire c a b l e , shake my head; the man on the dock w i t h the c l i p board h o l l e r s , c'mon, c'mon, and I l e a v e up the l a d d e r , they  32 probably d i d n t t h i n k I'd go, past the wheelhouse, no  one's  i n s i d e , past the gangway, the t i d e ' s h i g h enough now  t o move  it  to the lower deck, down the l a d d e r t o the poop deck.  I  l e a n on the r a i l next to the empty boxes and garbage buckets and c r a t e s f i l l e d w i t h l e t t u c e l e a v e s and crumpled brown paper, watch the o i l i n the water, the n i g h t c i t y neon j u s t s t a r t i n g , t h i n k of Ken,  i t keeps s h i f t i n g , we  did also,  changing, not f a s t enough, wonder where he:  4  j  - f\J  J  . ^ P " U j ^ ^  not too f a r o f f but so l o n e l y . A body f l o p s over me,  t i g h t , I cant, a rough c h i n  scrapes ray neck, breathe, g e t , hands glomb o n t o / i n t o my What are ( I t r y to duck down) you: r e a l , L e f t y says. feeling.  there w i t h that cocky g r i n :  one anyway.  j u s t s e e i n g i f they're  L e f t y , you're not s e e i n g , you're...  I t r y to be tough, he's  you d i d n t .  not f o o l e d , j u s t  scared ya? he says.  Come have a raugup. I dont want one. We  tits.  stands No,  you,  Come have  go through the hot mess to the h o t t e r g a l l e y ,  he pours b o i l i n g water i n t o a green square pot, s w i r l s i t  33 around: me.  see t h i s , i t ' s mine, you dont use i t f o r anyone but  OcTOPus QuINtON i n white p a i n t , mixed upper/lower case,  I wouldnt  think of i t :  s h o r t , he says.  I wont.  r i n s i n g out a mug. see any o n i o n .  not even when I'm  o f f and you're  I pour myself a cup o f c o f f e e a f t e r  Cut me a s l i c e of onion, he s a y s .  Where are they?  I cant  In the f r i g , wheredya expect?  I cant remember seeing any there from the s t o r e s t h i s  after-  noon but I go i n t o the w a l k - i n anyway which i s jammed w i t h s u p p l i e s , l o o k around at the meat packages, not t h e r e , the b u t t e r , no one would do t h a t , the l e t t u c e , the celery.,, green onions but n o t : Let the  me  the door s h u t s .  out, L e f t y ; L e f t y , I cant see.  other s i d e , a d i r t y gut l a u g h :  B e t t y always has o n i o n  p e e l e d , he says, on the deck, i n a can. opens and I almost t r i p on the s i l l  He laughs from  Let me...the door  as I duck under h i s arm  and j u s t miss the pasengers' cups which are In a l o n g white wooden case on the w a l l .  I make i t t o the mess, e v e n t u a l l y  f i n d the canned m i l k beneath a paper, s t a r t t o pour, he's r i g h t t h e r e , S p a n i s h o n i o n i n h i s mouth, one arm on the t a b l e , the other hand h o l d i n g h i s t e a which he puts down. He takes the huge o v a l t h i n g out and says, howdya l i k e boat life?  I dont know, y e t , I answer, I .  Do you l i k e men?  Sure, I say s t i r r i n g the c o f f e e much too much and he n o t i c e s . What type appeal t o ya?  W e l l I...how 'bout me?  I look at  him, medium b u i l t and l o o s e - l e g g e d , brown eyes that dare b i t i n g h i s o n i o n as i f he knows who  me,  I am and how he i s . He  sees me  t a k i n g i n the whole, l o o k s proud, s l o w l y s l u r p s h i s  b i t e down: to t h a t ?  do you l i k e to suck?  My God, what do you answer  I dont, I j u s t walk out of the mess, open the door  myself, and he f o l l o w s t o the poop deck. Hal's t h e r e , l e a n i n g on the r a i l i n g ; and Jock, on a wooden box which he gets up from, g i v e s t o me.  sitting Didnt  mean to f r i g h t e n you, you dont mind do you, says L e f t y so a l l three of us can hear.  He passes me,  s i t s on the a f t e r peak.  I l o o k at H a l , he w h i s t l e s :  l crJttfp- r in 7  ) f  r|ru  and at Jock, he's not impressed; and a t L e f t y , h i s l e g s a p a r t , w a i t i n g but not w a i t i n g : his  no, no I dont.  He  finishes  onion, l i c k s a c i g a r , l i g h t s i t w i t h a wooden match  s t r u c k on h i s thumbnail.  Hal  l o o k s at the sky and I do a l s o , I f e e l more w i t h him  anyone e l s e . the  than  Going t o be a good run, says L e f t y l o o k i n g a t  sky and l o o k i n g at the two o f us and no one says a n y t h i n g .  35 The Nootka keeps s h i f t i n g as she's b e i n g loaded, I steady myself by b r a c i n g my f o o t on one of the b i t s and p r e s s i n g my hand, f i n g e r s spread, on the bulkhead as she moves t h e other way.  F i n a l l y L e f t y says, how much t o go? t o  Jock who's r i g h t b e s i d e roe. Z e b a l l o s l a s t , a g a i n , he answers. Those hotshot supercargoes you cant t e l l them l a d s a n y t h i n g , why they wouldnt even know t h e i r ass from a h o l e i n t h e ground u n l e s s :  says Jock t o me, f o r me, but I dont know what  he's t a l k i n g about. hills Jock.  I watch t h e c a r l i g h t s move down t h e  on the n o r t h s h o r e .  You seen the young monkey? says  I shake my head up at h i s b e l l y , not s i n c e noon.  supposed  t o be on watch, Jock says.  I d i d n t know t h a t , I  t h i n k , but he's none o f my r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . he says to L e f t y .  With h i s  He's  Beebo aboard?  klootch.  Hal passes between L e f t y and me, goes i n t o t h e crew's washroom which i s j u s t o f f the deck:  On the upper  deck a r e some passengers, mainly o l d people,  s l o p e d b e l l i e s and knotted necks  and heavy h e e l s move c l o s e t o  the r a i l i n g , they l o o k at us a moment or so and g e t t i n g no p a r t i c u l a r response, d r i f t  off.  I watch the f l a g f o l d i n and  out, c r e a t i n g shadows, s h i f t s o f : you're a student, l a s s ,  36 says Jock. I,  Yeah, how can you t e l l ?  I'd l i k e t o know, r e a l l y , how:  Always spot a s t u d e n t . . . we t a l k o f bumbershoots and  saggy pants and uncut h a i r and baggy sweaters and as we t a l k L e f t y looks me over, I'm not p u t t i n g up much o f an argument, such a s t e r e o t y p e , and as we t a l k Beebo swings down t h e l a d d e r , I'm not here, he says t o u s , drops down t o t h e crew's q u a r t e r s , i s gone.  Jock winks at me and s i g n a l s w i t h h i s  head t o l o o k up. Beee-boo, a plump Indian woman c a l l s from  above.  Bee-booo, she repeats as she stands above t h e l a d d e r . seen Beebo, she y e l l s at L e f t y .  You  Not y e t , he answers.  Jock  nudges over next t o me, shrugs, happens a l l the time, l a s s . I know he's around here somewhere, she says, I know cause I seen him.  Over h i s shoulder Jock c a l l s up t o her, why dont  you check the wheelhouse, her  l a s s , or ask the mate.  I l o o k at  swelled out b e l l y droopy b r e a s t s f o r m l e s s waist but cant  q u i t e make out her f e a t u r e s because the l i g h t ' s between her and u s . He's down t h e r e w i t h you, i s n t he.  Isnt he, she  y e l l s at me or I take i t that way, I shake my head towards her darkness but too r a p i d l y . coming.  I'm coming down, she says, I'm  And she does. Her f u l l s k i r t blows up, b l o c k s the l i g h t , but I can  see her, no underpants, round brown rump, r o i l y little  tuft  of h a i r .  wound round the b i t s :  thighs,  I t u r n ray head and l o o k at the rope so l i t t l e  h a i r , I could see the f o l d s ,  there arent any f i b r e s on the rope, I thought t h a t she:  37 a l r i g h t , where i s he?  I can s m e l l she's been d r i n k i n g and I  can s m e l l Lavender perfume.  She pinches my arm above t h e  elbow, p u l l s i t , hard, are ya going to t e l l I dont know, I say, I can f e e l l i t t l e the s u r f a c e o f ray f a c e and back. as he runs out o f the f i d l e y ,  or do I have t o .  blood p r i c k s f l o a t t o  Lay o f f the k i d , Beebo says  jumps over the quadrant,  rounds  the corner o f the s u p e r s t r u c t u r e . She f o l l o w s him as f a s t as she can waddle which i s p r e t t y f a s t : boo-hunk, I'm not l e a v i n g y a t i l l L e f t y laughs at me. down.  I get...  I rub my arm and keep l o o k i n g  You a i n t seen a pussy b e f o r e ?  They're not a l l the same you know. t h i n k , I wish you'd shut up. little  my money, you f u c k i n g  I dont l o o k up or over. I know you b i g guy, I  Why dont you g i v e the l a s s a  time, says Jock, show a l i t t l e  r e s p e c t or something.  I l o o k a t t h e c r e o s o t e p i l e s , smile over at Jock. look a b i t ,  L e f t y does  H a l steps out o f t h e crew's q u a r t e r s as Ken comes  down the l a d d e r :  where you been, l a d , says Jock as Ken says,  turn-to i n f i v e .  Why I've j u s t . . . m o t h e r - f u c k e r , we hear the  I n d i a n woman shout and I t u r n t o the other d i r e c t i o n from which they l e f t , towards the mess, the g a l l e y .  Beebo laughs  as he runs, i t ' s a l l a b i g . . . w h i t e cocksucker, she y e l l s as she passes the canned goods cupboard. he passes, almost stumbles  Beebo nudges my l e g as  on t h e quadrant as H a l and Ken get  out of the way so he can make i t up the l a d d e r .  Her head i s  l a r g e , h a i r blown out, eyes s m a l l , almost a double She pauses  squint.  above L e f t y , g i v e s him a nasty l o o k , s p i t s on h i s  38 jeans*  Then she passes and stands at the bottom o f the l a d d e r  and looks a t a l l of us as she wheezes and s n o r t s and t r i e s t o catch her breath.  L e f t y knocks the s p i t o f f with the edge o f  a match i n one slow s t r o k e . n e i t h e r do we.  And she doesnt  say anything and  Then s l o w l y , h e a v i l y , she climbs t h e narrow  ladder. Ken moves next t o my shoulder, laughs down at me, enjoying y o u r s e l f ?  I t u r n up and we both s m i l e , um-hram.  He  b r i n g s h i s t h i g h c l o s e r as H a l goes up the l a d d e r :  See you l a t e r ?  Ken asks.  And L e f t y gets up and Jock goes t o  the other s i d e t o s t a r t to do something w i t h the r o p e s . L e f t y doesnt l o o k angry he j u s t l o o k s :  I move my shoulder t o  Ken's t h i g h , I dont want to t a l k about us or anyone we know, I say q u i e t l y but not so q u i e t he cant hear. you, he says, I'm on the e i g h t to twelve. t h i n k , same o l d Ken always:  That's up t o  Supposed to be, I  here, he says, i n half-an-hour•  You b e t t e r get going you b i g monkey, shouts Jock. me w i t h h i s l e g then q u i c k l y swings up the l a d d e r  Ken nudges wearing  thongs o f a l l t h i n g s , smiles at me from above, takes o f f . watch Jock f o r a minute then go towards my c a b i n t o s o r t a s t r a i g h t e n myself but the engine n o i s e gets l o u d e r , f a s t e r ,  I  39 and  I look at the p i l e s , the l i g h t s , the edge o f the green  gangway b e i n g p u l l e d i n from above.  And there she i s , on the  dock, waving and screaming as we s t a r t h i g h , curved, fucking ship.  a weird  t o move out, arms  s o r t a dance t o the f u c k i n g b a s t a r d and  We back out past her and she stays t h e r e ,  s o l i d , the same p l a c e , we s t a r t  t o t u r n , l e g s a p a r t , arms  f l u i d , screaming, and we're out and cant hear her no more.  OTHER MEN Que  s e r a , s e r a ; whatever w i l l be, w i l l be; the f u t u r e ' s  not ours, to see: watching  MAKE THE  I hum  and s i n g as I stand on the deck  the g r a i n e r i e s , huge c y l i n d e r shadows each  connected,  and the p i e r s , some dark b l o b s others p a r t i a l l y l i t ,  pass  by.  It seems that the Nootka i s not moving but the c i t y i s backing up:  s l o w l y , s t e a d i l y , the hollows  that are the  streets  which score the h i l l s with even rows of l i g h t , p u l l overf i n the hollows, s c a t t e r e d p a i r s o f y e l l o w l i g h t s and r e d l i g h t s • < (sing) drift.-  I asked my mother what l i e s ahead:  ahead,  u n i v e r s i t y and then y o u ' l l get m a r r i e d . I look a t the sky: a t h i n scrappy c l o u d , h i g h up, moves between the dipper and (hum) (aing) me. W i l l t h e r e be r o s e s , day a f t e r day, here's what my full  sweetheart  said:  I n o t i c e the g a l l e y buckets  of garbage, enough to f e e d , why  t h i n k of i t ,  squished  I light  c i g a r e t t e and watch the edge o f the foam where i t c u r l s the b l a c k water. o f ray head.  Que  sera, sera:  j u s t behind me,  animal's, f l a t ,  I turn  h i s eyes seem b l a c k , l i k e  an  near the s u r f a c e , yet deep I c o u l d go, way i n .  As a matter of f a c t , I.  He almost  you mind i f ,1 s p i n a y a r n w i t h you? Gab,  filtered  more d i r e c t , n e i t h e r c o l d nor warm.  T h i n k i n g about your b o y f r i e d , Hal says. around, he's  into  I wish I c o u l d get t h a t but  I can f e e l the a i r through my uniform,  by c o t t o n , on ray arm,  a  he says, you know, t a l k .  smiles but not q u i t e . S p i n a yarn?  Do  I say.  That's too much, I t h i n k , s p i n  a y a r n , he's p u t t i n g me on.  Sure, I say.  He grabs a wooden  box from the garbage and puts i t on the poop deck, t h e n gets a rag from j u s t i n s i d e the crew's q u a r t e r s , shakes i t out, l a y s i t down:  dont want you g e t t i n g cable d r e s s i n g a l l over  that uniform.  Thank you, I say as he s i t s on the a f t e r peak.  Hope you brought some o l d c l o t h e s t o put on when you're not working. much.  I d i d n t , I t h i n k , but t h e s t u f f I've got i s n t  I g o t t a couple o f cheap s k i r t s ,  no jeans.  I say.  No jeans. No,  Women dont l o o k good i n them, most women that i s ,  he says, r a i n gear?  Uh-uhh.  You can use mine.  I l o o k at him we are b o t h about t h e same s i z e . It?  worth  I got e x t r a . W i l l I need  You might, i f you want t o take o f f and walk when we're  i n Ucluelet or Tahsis or Zeballos. Par away p l a c e s w i t h strange sounding names, i t ' s not far,  j u s t the West Coast, I l o o k a t the L i o n ' s Gate B r i d g e as  we s t a r t  t o pass under i t , huge cement t h i g h s , even w i t h t h e  engine n o i s e I can hear the t r a f f i c whir above.  Have one?  Hal says as he l e a n s over w i t h a P l a y e r s , such s m a l l l e g s compared to Ken or L e f t y , so compact, so q u i c k , the b r i d g e whips, as he cups the match w i t h h i s dark hand, by. Ken your boyfriend? he asks.  And I s m i l e a t h i s b l a c k h a i r f a l l i n g over  h i s f a c e and he moves h i s head up and away, f l i p s s t r a i g h t , so f i r m , used t o be, I say.  i t , so  We smile at each other  f o r a moment, what w i l l be, w i l l be, you havent smoked l o n g , he remarks.  No, how can you t e l l that?  He blows a c i r c l e  which d r i f t s towards me, j u s t misses my f o r e h e a d .  The way you  k2 draw and the way you h o l d i t l i k e i t doesnt b e l o n g . see him s h a r p l y because  I cant  I'm b l o c k i n g the running l i g h t but I  know he's s l i g h t l y p l e a s e d w i t h h i m s e l f and I can very much, too much, f e e l h i s presence. What happened t o Kurt?  I say t r y i n g t o s h i f t the  mood/subject/emphasis/whatever but a l s o wanting to f i n d out because  I'm c u r i o u s and sense he wont t a l k when other people  are around.  You know t h a t ' s a funny t h i n g , he j u s t went t o  the head and came out sober, dead sober, never seen a man who can do that l i k e he d o e s — t h e  tapman even o f f e r e d him one  on the house, how do you l i k e t h a t , and they b a r r e d me. looks so d i f f e r e n t when he t a l k s , s o : they, what?  He  B a r r e d me  f o r a month and Kurt s a i d i f you wont serve my buddy you wont get none o f my b u s i n e s s t i l l you do, so we went up t o Whitey's.  Can they do t h a t ? I say.  Sure, I cant go i n t o the  Grandview o r the Marble A r c h e i t h e r , d i s t u r b i n g i n f l u e n c e , one of them c a l l e d me; I never s t a r t a f i g h t , I've never done t h a t , never.  I cant q u i t e b e l i e v e him but maybe i t ' s so, he  c e r t a i n l y d i d n t s t a r t the one I saw i n the Empress. i t was thrown out o f c o u r t .  Uh-uhh.  I had t o go t o court  cause that t w i t got h i s beak i n t h e way. f l i c k s h i s b u t t over the s i d e .  You know,  I s m i l e at him as he  I got a l l t i d d l i e d up, h a i r c u t ,  the works, and t h e judge j u s t d i s m i s s e d the case. Behind him, f a r t o the r i g h t , there i s a sharp rock, one craggy t r e e on i t :  a l l b l a c k , a s i l h o u e t t e a g a i n s t the  s o f t n e s s o f the n i g h t park.  I dont see why you shipped out,  he says, and I come back t o him, the deck, a f t e r thoughts of P a u l i n e Johnson, Indian poet, "4s Red Men D i e , I, w e l l I, I dont l i k e  n  chocolates.  school and I need some money and I  dont l i k e s t a t i c s i t u a t i o n s — y o u know, o f f i c e s and such and I guess I j u s t p r e f e r working w i t h men o r around men t o working w i t h women o r i n s i d e . says.  What?  You're going t o get hooked, he  I f you dont h i t the beach and stay t h e r e when  we get back t o p o r t , you're going t o get hooked.  I dont see  why, I say.  I say t o  You havent been around l o n g enough.  myself you're twenty-two  years o l d and you have been around,  no you havent, you have a b i t and more than most g i r l s but you havent r e a l l y been around l o n g enough as he s a y s . You  seen the guys on t h i s boat?  Most o f them I t h i n k .  They cant s t i c k t o a shore job, none of them, they a l l t r i e d it  some time or other, s e v e r a l times, you ask, ask L e f t y how  many he's had, they j u s t cant do the e i g h t t o f i v e race o r even s t i c k t o the bush f o r two months. l a s t e d l a s t time?  No.  t o l d them t o shove i t .  You know how long I  Three days, not even t h r e e days, I I cant imagine him I n the c i t y  d e l i v e r i n g m i l k or r e p a i r i n g r e f r i g e r a t o r s , d i g g i n g d i t c h e s or d r i v i n g cab, c e r t a i n l y not s e l l i n g c e r t a i n l y not i n a s t o r e c e r t a i n l y not i n an o f f i c e .  What d i d you do? I ask.  S t e e p l e j a c k i n g , he says, but those guys t h i n k they can t e l l you what t o do.  That's i t ,  he doesnt l i k e t o be t o l d , i n  f a c t he wont be t o l d t h a t ' s what: from the deck above.  you're c a l l e d , Ken shouts  We l o o k up at him, much l a r g e r than  H a l , t h i c k - t h i g h e d , w e l l made.  Then n e i t h e r of us speak f o r  a moment, j u s t watch the l i g h t s on the northshore, h i g h - r i s e s now,  huge c u r l s about the sea edge.  F e e l l i k e t a l k i n g about i t ? he asks. t h a t i s , I say.  I ' l l r e l i e v e him.  You  you  No,  not  yet  dont have to do t h a t .  Just w a i t i n g anyway, he says as he gets up. what gets you  so many  about boat l i f e , you work you  t h i n k , t h a t ' s a l l there i s to i t . He  You  know t h a t ' s  s l e e p you  wait  smiles as he  steps  over the quadrant, then he s l i p s up the l a d d e r , so n a t u r a l , so f a s t and yet i t looks slow. t o p i n the back of my  h a i r up,  I light  a c i g a r e t t e and t r y  i t wont s t a y put,  I should  get i t , damnit I dont know, c u t , i f I, I dont want t o , see him,  yes  I:  a l e a k , he  h i , says Ken from the l a d d e r , j u s t have t o swings i n t o the crew's q u a r t e r s .  take  He l o o k s so, so  b o y i s h , overgrown crewcut, so, t e a r halfway up h i s s h i r t , c o u l d a f f o r d , f l o p p y thongs, I dont remember him b e i n g i t ' s funny what s i x months can do but than a month ago,  I j u s t saw  him  i t ' s not the time, i t ' s other men  he  so,  less t h a t make  the, I dont want t o t h i n k about i t , I hope I l o o k , Jamey s a i d he dropped h i s chem because he was  p l a y i n g around too much.  P l a y i n g around, p l a y i n g . A mop  next t o my  eye, wet,  through the p o r t ,  I get up, move t o the s i d e , that c o u l d only be him, to the r a i l i n g and watch without  saying anything.  twirling. stand next The  moves to the s i d e , q u i c k l y , back, t o the o t h e r , then up down, more s l o w l y , r e t r e a t i n g , a small c i r c l e , then i n . than a moment l a t e r he  jumps onto the wood t h a t covers  mop and Less the  quadrant, puts h i s arms up, sways. t h i n k , same o l d Ken, n e v e r — h e  You c u r l i n g b a s t a r d , I  s p r i n g s onto t h e peak, then  steps onto the deck edge, next t o me.  I move away a few  i n c h e s , I dont know what i t , he shouldnt be t h i s c l o s e i t i s n t , you're l o o k i n g good, he says. to l e t you o f f e a r l y l i k e t h a t . something  So are y o u — n i c e  of Hal  I've got t o , got t o t h i n k o f  t o say so he doesnt take over, not about us, we dont  know what happened, we t r i e d i t b e f o r e and i t j u s t gets nowhere, huge c i r c l e s and l o o p s that seldom, i f ever c o i n c i d e , what t o : it,  he's a good head, Ken s a y s , but you know why he d i d  dont you. Whadya mean?  w e l l as I do.  Come o f f i t , Jan, you know as  I guess so, I say, a t l e a s t  I know what you're  insinuating, I think. What have you been doing l a t e l y , t h a t i s what a r e you g e t t i n g Into now?  I say, t h i n k i n g , t h a t ' s s a f e , l a s t time I  saw him i t was the mind, he knows or should know I dont mean g i r l s , and he u s u a l l y moves around i n one space f o r two or three months b e f o r e .  And he t a l k s about the b r a i n and ideas  he has on chemical r e a c t i o n s , l i g h t responses, I dont a s k him why he dropped  chem, he doesnt have t o t e l l me anyway,  i t o b v i o u s l y wasnt going where he was at the moment, hypnosis, nuerosurgery, h i s f a t h e r ' s one, t a n t r a s and i t ' s a l l i n huge l o o p i n g phrases I d o n t  f o l l o w , I l i s t e n t o a word o r two and  take o f f , come back i n a minute or so and go i n t o / o n t o another tangent, mostly about mysfelf how I have n o t h i n g g o i n g f o r me at a l l , not q u i t e , but other people are t h e c e n t e r I depend too  much on, l e s s than f i v e hours a day i s a l l the body, I s l e p t  so much b e f o r e we d i d break up, s i x t e e n sometimes, and then,  1+6 then I couldnt take the f a c t that we had but i t was  so sense-  l e a s as i t was but he always d o e s / d i d have something t h a t , always someone t o o , l i s t e n i n g , that switches a l s o as he does. He doesnt even n o t i c e I'm not, maybe t h a t ' s what went wrong, at the b e g i n n i n g even he, but I d i d l i s t e n then, h a b i t s , h a b i t s are t r a p s to be g o t t e n r i d o f , the response, me l i s t e n i n g , he t a l k i n g , me  t a k i n g i n , he, he even d i d the  cooking, both f u c k i n g e v e r y - s o - o f t e n b u i l t up, always such: the l i g h t from the l i g h t h o u s e a t P t . A t k i n s o n t u r n s , we've seen i t together from so many c i t y mountain water angles at so many p a s t , now p r e s e n t , t i m e s ; oh, I say, t h a t ' s and he c o n t i n u e s .  interesting,  So c a r e l e s s , the way he uses the language,  and the o b s e r v a t i o n s are so:  ambivalent's the word, he breaks  In.  t h i n k i n g about something  What? I say, s o r r y I was  else.  I just hate her sometimes when we argue and she f i g h t s , f i g h t s so c o o l y , and she makes me  see t h i n g s but I dont  admit i t , when i t happens t h a t i s . W e l l I c e r t a i n l y d i d n t do t h a t , not that we shouldnt have, argued: logical, met  abstract,  she went around w i t h a p h i l o s o p h y crowd b e f o r e she  me. And you're g o i n g t o undo i t ,  I t h i n k , the o l d power:  she's younger, he says, she doesnt r e a c h the same l e v e l s you do.  Maybe t h a t ' s what you need, I say and dont b e l i e v e and  really  j u s t want to get out o f t h i s , someone you can show and  guide, I wish he would.  Ken leans h i s head a g a i n s t one of the  metal p o s t s , rubs i t up and down, slowly s c r a t c h i n g c a r e s s i n g , a t h i c k neck but l o n g , d e l i b e r a t e l y :  loosely  you know you  shouldnt t e l l  me  hear about i t .  about your g i r l f r i e n d s ,  I say, I dont want t o  He stops r u b b i n g , looks h u r t , l i k e he doesnt  understand, I dont b e l i e v e , l i t t l e boy p u z z l e d , he cant be as naive or u n f e e l i n g as he, but once: friendly,  cant we at l e a s t be  he says, you i d i o t , I t h i n k i t j u s t wont, okay l e t ' s  t r y i t , I say, I t h i n k I b e t t e r t u r n i n . I t r y t o smile, b u t :  wanta hand w i t h the garbage,  he  asks and snatches a s m a l l cardboard box from the heap next t o him, chucks i t over.  Am  I supposed to do i t ? I ask.  Sure,  as soon as she's out o f harbour, see P t . A t k i n s o n and P t . Grey. Uh-hmm.  I l o o k at the l i g h t e d towers o f the u n i v e r s i t y and  w e l l - s p a c e d l a r g e b u i l d i n g s , few l i g h t s , and at the l i g h t h o u s e on the n o r t h s h o r e , winging, so q u i c k l y . he says.  They're the boundaries,  I dont r e a l l y b e l i e v e i t ' s ray job, what i f I was  in  bed, but we do i t anyway, s l i n g and throw and drop huge s m a l l medium s i z e d bags boxes c r a t e s i n t o the dark r o l l s / f o l d s the off.  sea.  of  No sounds as they l a n d cause the engine b l o c k s i t  Only the t h r e e buckets l e f t ,  I t r y one but cant  lift  i t , he heaves another, then grabs mine, then the other and I smile as he puts the l a s t one down and he smiles too, i t ' s k i n d a f u n , not the doing we used t o , but f u n t o be doing together again.  A SINGLE SCRAMBLED Short s t a c k w i t h sausage, Puppi c a l l s ; s h o r t s t a c k w i t h sausage, Coco answers, r i g h t up. minutes; two  i n the water f o r f i v e .  bacon and, over easy.  i n the water,  five  Bacon and, over easy;  I'm not q u i t e awake yet but then I  never am awake u n t i l two dont ask me how,  Two  or so hours a f t e r I get up.  Somehow,  I've managed t o get the o v e r n i g h t d i s h e s  washed with a minimum of c o n f u s i o n by doing them the easy way  as Puppi c a l l s i t , i . e . s t a c k i n g a l l s i m i l a r t h i n g s such  as dinner p l a t e s and d o i n g them i n a p i l e r i g h t i n the  washing  s i n k , l i f t i n g that p i l e t o the r i n s i n g s i n k , t a k i n g them out, p l a c i n g a bowl on the l o n g s t e e l counter w i t h i t s damp, but not  t o o wet, t e r r y towel on I t so the c r o c k e r y wont s l i p o f f  and a l t e r n a t i n g the p l a t e s one s l i g h t l y l e f t ,  one  r i g h t , and so on, so they dry by themselves.  Poached on  poached  on two.  slightly two;  There i s n t even a r e a l s i n k p l u g , j u s t a  copper pipe which I p l a c e a rag over the end of and s t i c k i n the  hole.  S i n g l e sunnyside and; s i n g l e sunnyside and.  Puppi's  f e e d i n g the passengers e a r l y and the o f f i c e r s as they come; but there's no boys, as Coco c a l l s them, as y e t , because i t ' s the  f i r s t day out and they a l l have hangovers  or p o r t o v e r s and  wont, she says, f e e l l i k e much, j u s t c o f f e e and S i n g l e scrambled.  S i n g l e what?  s i n g l e scrambled f o r Chuckles.  Single  toast. scrambled,  I cant scramble a s i n g l e  egg.  S i n g l e scrambled, Puppi r e t o r t s as she s t r u t s i n t o the g a l l e y , hands on f l a t  h i p s , stands behind Coco.  I know you cant, but  1*9 HE wants a s i n g l e scrambled, Puppi caws.  She t u r n s , b u t t e r s  two p i e c e s of t o a s t on the wooden counter, s l i c e s them rapidly, leaves.  B a s t a r d , Coco says, cracks two eggs i n t o a  soup bowl, adds water from the t a p . s i n g l e scrambled?  Whoever heard o f a  she says l o u d l y enough f o r everyone  other s i d e of the deckhead t o hear.  on the  Did you? she says t o me  then takes a drag from her c i g a r e t t e which s i t s on a g l a s s a s h t r a y between the v a n i l l a and s a l t .  As she pours the eggs  i n t o a l i g h t f r y p a n which she grabs from beneath the r i n s i n g s i n k , I see a gapped toothed sour l o o k i n g man her.  I have, Chuckles r o a r s , my wife has, every I d i o t  I want a s i n - g l e scram-bled egg.  Coco slams  the stove without t u r n i n g to him. get, of  come up behind  she says, now  has.  the c o l d pan  on  And t h a t ' s what y o u ' l l  l o o k what you've made me do:  l i t t l e globs  egg s o l i d i f y on the g r i l l . I'm  supposed  t o be p e e l i n g a p o t a t o , not a p o t a t o but  a bucket f u l l of p o t a t o e s , anyway I get back t o the p a r t i c u l a r one which has deep dents a l l over i t and t r y not t o l o o k at the two of them.  Chuckles' t h i g h s are only a few inches from  Coco's u n i f o r m covered bum,  she's s c r a p i n g the egg o f f the  stove top with exaggerated energy, as he appears t o be to  l o o k angry.  of  i t , i n t o an enamel bucket f u l l  trying  I put the f i n i s h e d p o t a t o , what t h e r e ' s l e f t  another unskinned one: Stack w i t h bacon;  of c o l d water, p i c k up  he hasnt moved, she f l i p s a pancake.  s t a c k w i t h bacon.  bacon and over easy.  How  Bacon and over easy;  come i t ' s not cooking, he says.  50 It'll  cook when i t cooks,  c o f f e e w i l l you?  Coco answers.  Who's t h a t ?  Jan, pass us  two  I h o l d on to the h a l f done  potato and l o o k at Chuckles, he d i d n t say i t ; then I go to the g a l l e y edge, l o o k i n t o the boys' mess, no one's t h e r e . One  b l a c k , one with both.  where, where.  Chuckles  I've heard t h a t v o i c e b e f o r e , some-  looks at me as i f t o i n d i c a t e  j u s t as s t u p i d as Coco i s i n a d i f f e r e n t way h i s head j u s t s l i g h t l y to the  then he  I'm flicks  ceiling.  Above the g a l l e y center there's a hatch which I had n o t i c e d i n terms of l i g h t b e f o r e but i t hadnt o c c u r r e d t o to t h i n k of where i t was  or i s i n r e l a t i o n to the s h i p :  back o f the wheelhouse, I t h i n k , as I move towards the so I can l o o k up and see whoever i t i s because he's  me just  stove  on the  mess s i d e of i t and what w i t h the angle and such I must go to:  outa my way,  outa my way.  She whizzes past me  Sorry Poops, I wasnt t h i n k i n g .  from behind, Chuckles  leaves, I r e a l l y  wasnt t h i n k i n g , I guess I shouldnt back up, b e t t e r than:  I should know  a b a l d head f r i n g e d i n b l a c k h a i r o u t l i n e d by  the white hatch made sharper by the r i p p l i n g red p l a i d i t ' s Skinney,  the guy on watch.  d i d n t know where you were. galley, f i n a l l y  I'm  Okay, I say, two,  shirt,  sorry I  I go t o the mess s i d e o f the  going to serve someone, and get the mugs  which are behind white wooden s l i t s and t h e r e ' s Puppi  again,  coming out of the w a l k - i n , I press t o the w a l l so she  can  pass and then Coco p u l l s h e r s e l f c l o s e r to the stove so can pass, out, out of the g a l l e y .  she  51 I h o l d on t o the mugs as Coco pours and g i v e s me Puppi's-in-one-of-her-raoods l o o k . I shout up t o Skinney.  What do you want i n them?  One b l a c k , one with b o t h .  r i g h t , I f o r g o t , I t h i n k , he d i d t e l l me: shout.  a  Hurry on the scrambled w i l l you.  That's  j u s t a minute,  I  Puppi runs i n t o  p i c k up t h r e e orders and Coco says, Puppi when you go out  will  you t e l l that man  him  I'm it  not the s t o v e .  I cant cook i t any f a s t e r than I . . . t e l l  Too much cream i n the c o f f e e but I s t i r  anyway, cant add a whole s p o o n f u l o f sugar cause i t .Is so  f u l l , b e t t e r h u r r y , I pass the b l a c k up, a l o n g f i n g e r e d hand with a g o l d - j a d e r i n g takes i t , then the white, p a r t of it  spills.  Hope that i s n t too much cream f o r you, I say.  Doesnt matter as l o n g as i t ' s f r e s h and h o t . can take i t back and pour:  Sure?  Sure.  I  eeruh eerrruuhh, Puppi jumps back  from the spots as I f t h e y ' r e catchy or something, p o i n t s her m u s c l e l y arm,  dances about them.  s m i l e , beats i t .  Dirty, d i r t y .  Skinney g i v e s me a f a s t She s q u i g g l e s her eyebrows  which go from her nose d i a g o n a l l y up through a l l the f o l d s r i g h t t o her h a i r l i n e . I  Dirty.  j u s t l o o k at the gnome-crow and dont do a t h i n g .  She t r i e s t o l o o k snappy but i s so Chaplinesque as she to  order me  starts  that I smirk which o n l y aggravates her eyebrows  her whole body more.  Ready on the scrambled, Coco s a y s :  Puppi, h i s highness's EGG  i s ready.  I t r y to grab a paper  towel from near the t o a s t e r which i s by the work counter on a little  s h e l f j u s t above the g a l l e y bucket opposite the stove  52 but  I cant q u i t e r e a c h because Puppi i s i n the way.  She p i c k s  up the egg p l a t e and l e a v e s w i t h i t without t o a s t or anything. Coco says, Jan, do you want t o eat t h i s ? scrambled,  h a l f the p o r t i o n , s t i l l  Yellow-gold-brown  i n the pan.  No, not y e t  anyway, i t l o o k s good I ra just n o t ; so much f o r t h a t , she says, !  and scrapes i t i n t o the g a l l e y  bucket.  SOME TRIP THIS IS GOING TO BE The  a f t e r n o o n i s supposed to be my time o f f , but t h a t  doesnt mean i t i s my time o f f because I'm slow, and couldnt get the potatoes p e e l e d f o r supper b e f o r e nine i n the morning when I had t o scrub the mess and g a l l e y so the decks, would be dry by the time the men came i n f o r e a r l y raugup a t q u a r t e r t o ten.  And because t h a t took me l o n g e r than i t should  because I d i d n t know how t o wring  (simply  the mop out p r o p e r l y even  a f t e r Coco showed me how and I kept h i t t i n g my l e g w i t h the wooden squeegeemidoogle) Coco got behind, but not n o t i c e a b l y , because she can do anything f a s t , but she d i d get 'behind' i n terms of her baking which she says i s u s u a l l y i n the oven when the boys come i n f o r mugup (so at l u n c h today they d i d n t have p i e s but t a p i o c a pudding or f i s h e y e s as they c a l l i t ) . And t h e guys i n s i s t e d we have morning raugup w i t h them ( i t ' s your r i g h t they s a i d you g o t t a do i t ) so Coco and I d i d , and a f t e r that I washed t h e i r d i s h e s and f i l l e d t h e honey j a r and p e e l e d c a r r o t s and onions and washed out the g a l l e y and made bread  buckets  crumbs and f e t c h e d cans o f peas, tomatoes, and  c o r n f o r Coco, and s e t up f o r l u n c h . During l u n c h I couldnt p e e l and then I had t o do the dishes again.  And when t h a t was f i n i s h e d , I a t e w i t h Coco  and Puppi who were t a l k i n g about Jack, the s k i p p e r , what a b a s t a r d he i s , how he's out t o f i r e h a l f t h e crew; and about Kurt, the other s k i p p e r who was suspended j u s t the t r i p  before  l a s t because the m e s s g i r l was seen naked, i n p o r t , c r a w l i n g  to h i s c a b i n even a f t e r , I gather, some of the boys had packed her down t o her own.  That's why she's o f f now, s a i d Coco,  she knows Jack'11 watch every move she makes, j u s t one wrong one and t h a t ' s i t , game over.  So, anyway, here I am now, on  the poop deck o f a r o i l y s h i p with a bucket o f small-unpeeledeye-studded potatoes between ray l e g s , and a l a r g e cake t i n on my l a p f o r the p e e l i n g s which every so o f t e n I dump over the side.  Behind me, to my r i g h t , braced between the c h a i r and  bulkhead, i s an enamel bucket two-thirds f u l l  o f water which  has a few peeled potatoes on the bottom, I drop a white n i c k e d p e e l e d spud i n i t , p i c k another potato out o f the bucket between my l e g s and wonder how l o n g it'll  take me t o get enough done f o r supper.  The one I'm  doing now i s no more than two inches l o n g and has, f i v e s i x , seven e i g h t n i n e eyes i n I t so I chuck the t h i n g p i c k up another. it's  overboard,  One, two buckle ray shoe; scrape scrape,  a l l l i k e rape; what am I doing, what am I doing, who do  you do, who do you do; who, what, how are you. Got the water on k i d ? i t ' s L e f t y , smoking h i s c i g a r .  No,  You should have,  you know, i f you're outa y e r bunk ya g o t t a watch the k e t t l e . He passes over me and l o o k s down i n t o t h e p e e l e d bucket. Howcome those are so small?  I dont know.  Betcha B e t t y l e f t  the small ones f o r you. She c o u l d have, t h e r e ' s n o t h i n g I can do about  it.  I know she d i d , she doesnt l i k e anyone  t a k i n g over, you know. eye.  Is t h a t so?  I say as I d i g out an  Sure t h a t ' s so; I ' l l t e l l ya something  e l s e t h a t ' s so  55 too.  What?  Betcha d i d n t t h i n k o f dumping the whole sack  overboard and s t a r t i n g a new one.  No, I d i d n t .  See, I knew  you were s t u p i d , you wouldnt t h i n k o f t h a t , wouldja? Why dont you do i t then?  No.  Coco knows I'm d o i n g these.  a l l Coco has t o be concerned about  Listen  i s we have spuds t o e a t ,  she doesnt worry about the s i z e , t h a t ' s not her job, i s i t ? I drop a spud  i n t o the bucket, p i c k up another one.  Look, while I make t h e c o f f e e , whydonyah open a new sack and see how b i g they are?  How b i g they are, he l e a v e s , how b i g  they are, i t ' s not her job.  I scrape and p e e l , d i g and p e e l ,  and p e e l and p e e l and I should, I know I should, no you shouldnt, you know you s h o u l d n t .  I get up t o dump t h e l o u s y  p e e l i n g s overboard and n o t i c e we're e n t e r i n g a wide bay: a s m a l l c l e a r i n g , f a r o f f , the l i g h t the l a n d y e l l o w t h e r e but dark around  i t , f o r e s t , Douglas F i r , a huge curve i n the sea's  edge, a s m a l l e r curve w i t h i n i t t o the r i g h t , almost a bay w i t h i n the bay, huge grey b o u l d e r s spaced evenly about i t j u s t above the water l i n e , p r e s s e d down by the f o r e s t y e t not because each boulder Is s i n g u l a r , i t s e l f , maybe they were p l a c e d t h e r e , maybe n o t .  Our w h i s t l e blows and I dump the  p e e l i n g s , a g a i n , and the Nootka slows down.  The sea behind  us turns white, yards and yards o f foam on huge ( a t l e a s t twenty f e e t high) s l a t e green waves. Q u i c k l y I go t o the canned goods cupboard which Is on the l e f t  j u s t o u t s i d e the crew's mess.  I'm going t o do i t ,  I dont c a r e , t h e r e ' s no n e e d — I glance t o the r i g h t t o see  56 t h a t no one's l o o k i n g :  on the door handle, entrance t o the  engine room, i s an o i l y r a g ; i n s i d e , on the pipes hang a p a i r of c l e a n paint-sraotched jeans and three p a i r s of u n d e r s h o r t s . I check the deck behind me board.  then l i f t  the l o c k o f f the cup-  Below the shelves of cans are boxes of t u r n i p s ,  onions, c a r r o t s , p a r s n i p s ; on the l e f t hand s i d e and to the back are two 50 pound sacks of p o t a t o e s ; i n f r o n t of these there's a gunny sack w i t h about 10 pounds of s m a l l ones, some only an i n c h , why  she cant b o i l  do at home I dont know.  them i n t h e i r  jackets l i k e  I take ray p e e l e r and cut the c o r d  w i t h i t by rubbing back and f o r t h and by d i g g i n g through f i b r e s w i t h the end.  we  I t doesnt work.  the  I should get a k n i f e .  Oh to h e l l w i t h i t , I ' l l p e e l what I have and ask her tomorrow about dumping the others over, a f t e r a l l she i s the boss, t h a t ' s what the man  i n the h a l l  s a i d , do what Coco t e l l s  you and you wont have any t r o u b l e . I put the l o c k on the cupboard, go back towards  my  c h a i r which has t i p p e d over, and l o o k out the s i d e a g a i n . Q u i t e a ways away i s a l o n g open boat r i g h t on top of a wave, it  s l i d e s down, i s hidden, a y e l l o w b l o b a b l o t c h of r e d and  something beyond t h a t , must be a man, y e s , i t s l i p s up a g a i n , i t i s a man  h i s head, s h o u l d e r s ,  at the back, a woman with  a r e d s c a r f at the f r o n t , down i t goes, the y e l l o w i s s m a l l e r , p r o b a b l y a k i d w i t h a hat of some k i n d on. the y e l l o w i s above the other two,  It c r e s t s a g a i n ,  I cant f i g u r e i t out, I  b e t t e r f i n i s h those potatoes b e f o r e they get here, I'm  just  57 stalling  t h a t ' s a l l I'm  doing, s t a l l i n g , putting i t o f f .  I  p i c k the c h a i r up and s i t down to p e e l , f a s t e r t h a n b e f o r e but not f a s t enough, wish they'd do themselves. out, stands over me,  eats a raw onion sandwich made of r a i s i n  bread, b u t t e r , onion, H.P. knew you were. are  we?  get  You're c h i c k e n s h i t Jan, I Where  C l o - o s e , gonna p i c k up a couple of  A couple a what?  o f f at U c l u e l e t .  moving?  sauce.  I t r y not to answer, d i g out an eye.  I say suddenly.  lnter-ports.  L e f t y comes  I n t e r - p o r t passengers,  W e l l , I say h e s i t a n t l y , why  they'll  arent we  Cause i t ' s too shallow, there a i n t no dock t h e r e ,  cant you see t h a t ?  Oh,  I say, of c o u r s e .  One gulp and he  f i n i s h e s and he l e a v e s . I do a few more and get up to watch the boat, i t doesnt seem any c l o s e r , I t h i n k i t i s a k i d i n the middle, s t a n d i n g of a l l t h i n g s , I wonder what f o r . muted now,  b l u n t e r , i t ' s funny how  coast, how  sudden i t s w i t c h e s .  The yellow's more  sharp the l i g h t  i s on the  I t h i n k I ' l l t r y to get them  done b e f o r e they get here, a r a c e , I leave the r a i l i n g  and  l o o k i n the enamel bucket, t h e r e ' s at l e a s t e i g h t inches of the buggers,  I s i t down and p e e l , f a s t e r than a few moments  ago yet I dont seem to be g e t t i n g any more done because missing spots.  But f i n a l l y I do f i n i s h and l o o k over the  s i d e a g a i n , i t ' s c l o s e r , the k i d has a y e l l o w beanie there's a dog, and the woman i s h o l d i n g something. red,  I keep  on, Strong  s m a l l y e l l o w a g a i n s t the grey of the boat, green of the  water, d i s t a n t y e l l o w and green of the l a n d .  I swing the  58 buckets as I go t o the g a l l e y , f i n d the pot Coco used f o r spuds t h i s morning, pour them i n t o i t , r i n s e them a couple o f times, then swish out the buckets and wash the cake t i n and put them a l l away where I t h i n k they belong. I pass the s t o v e , t u r n i n t o the p a s s e n g e r - o f f i c e r lounge, the c h a i r s are a l l on the bench and the t a b l e s , i t smells o f b l e a c h :  dont walk, I just washed i t .  Puppi, I can  j u s t see h e r head peeping out from the t a b l e end: she says, go around.  go above,  Okay, I say and t u r n back, she has such  funny b u t t o n eyes, through the g a l l e y , wonder why she's working on her time o f f , t o the mess, the deck, the quadrant, up the l a d d e r , maybe i t ' s the o n l y time she can do i t , past the sooty f l a g and the c a p t a i n ' s q u a r t e r s , hasnt l e f t h i s bunk y e t , Puppi s a i d at l u n c h , d i d n t come down t o e a t , n o t even for coffee.  I pass the back corner of the dark green wheel-  house, he must l e a v e t o go t o the can, then the f r o n t , a l l glass.  H a l nods out at me from behind t h e huge wheel and a  l a n k y s o r t a blonde man smiles then q u i c k l y l o o k s down at h i s c l i p b o a r d , must be shy or something, or maybe, no, I dont so, w e l l maybe i t i£ him. something  think  H a l t u r n s h i s head and they say  t o each o t h e r and I move q u i c k l y t o the corner o f  the r a i l i n g . I j u s t s t a r t t o brace myself by h o l d i n g onto the g r i t t y pipes and my u n i f o r m r i d e s / b l o w s up so while I support myself with one hand I p u l l i t down and inbetween my legs w i t h the other.  As I stand t h e r e , f e e t t o g e t h e r , I n o t i c e the men  59 below dont seem t o be having any t r o u b l e , i t probably wont take me  that l o n g to get the hang o f i t , Beebo and Jock are  on the edge o f the h o l d j u s t behind a s t a c k o f lumber  talking,  j u s t w a i t i n g , L e f t y leans on part of the winch smoking a cigar.  There's something d i f f e r e n t about them, I dont know  what i t i s , i t has something to do w i t h the way  they are  t a l k i n g , the way L e f t y ' s l e a n i n g , not b e l l i g e r e n t but more quiet or....  The boat's j u s t a few yards o f f , the boy,  s i x , Is s t i l l  s t a n d i n g even though the water's  woman, who  so rough, the  i s s l i g h t l y squat, s i t s , holds a baby.  are Indian, s t r o n g h i g h cheekbones,  beautiful,  about  The  two  oriental  almost, they l o o k proud, so u n l i k e the coast S a l i s h I grew up around.  In f r o n t of the white man  are three cardboard boxes  and the dog, maybe German Shepherd, purebred of some k i n d . The man  cuts the motor and s t e e r s the l u r c h i n g boat a l o n g s i d e  and t r i e s to steady i t there but i t ' s almost i m p o s s i b l e . k i d doesnt move, just stands l o o k i n g ahead.  The  The waves l o o k  l i k e they're going to go i n s i d e but dont. Suddenly  I see the man  below next t o L e f t y .  one but me,  The man  was  i n the wheelhouse down  He's much t a l l e r than I thought he  maybe s i x f e e t or s i x one. l o o k i n g out.  who  was,  He stands h o l d i n g h i s c l i p b o a r d  i n the boat o b v i o u s l y r e c o g n i z e s every-  he shouts a word or two t o Jock and Beebo, waves  to L e f t y and the t a l l blue capped man, In h i s boat which I cant see.  nods down at  something  L e f t y s t a r t s the winch, winds  the s l i n g s over t o Jock and Beebo.  Can you get on these,  60 l a g s , Jock shouts.  The woman l o o k s up a t him, says n o t h i n g .  Jock t h e n grabs b o t h p a i r s of wires i n separate hands, stands on the p i p e s and L e f t y l i f t s  him to show her how.  Jock's  arms are out i n a h i g h l o o s e U-formation, he l e t s go o f one set,  does a f a t l i t t l e  woman doesnt t h i n k i t ' s  dance.  I g i g g l e a t the j i g but the  funny, she t a l k s e x c i t e d l y t o the man  who can do n o t h i n g because he has t o do e v e r y t h i n g he can j u s t t o keep t h e boat u p r i g h t and i n the same p o s i t i o n .  She  wont come, he shouts, she says she wont come. Beebo and Jock q u i c k l y p l a c e the wooden  f l a t s between  the p i p e s then L e f t y winds i t up, over the s i d e , then, very q u i c k l y , i t j e r k s / d r o p s down.  I t swings  over towards t h e i r  boat, the boy f a l l s , the woman the man duck, then i t swings back over them a g a i n .  When i t comes towards them f o r the  t h i r d time, the k i d grabs i t .  L e f t y t r i e s t o lower i t t o a  p o s i t i o n so they c a n step s l i g h t l y down t o get on but the waves smack i t , there's j u s t a few inches between the boat top  and t h e s w e l l .  The man gestures w i t h h i s head f o r the  woman t o get on, she wont.  Then the boy c l u t c h i n g one o f  the f o u r wires, swings/leaps up, down, he's on, scrambles t o get  near the c e n t r e but i t t i p s i n t o the water, he grabs the  board edge, holds on, goes down, under.  His l i t t l e  yellow  beanie f l o a t s on the dark water, he's s t i l l h o l d i n g , I can see him, f i n a l l y ,  i t must be a l l o f s i x seconds b u t seems  l i k e minutes, L e f t y manages t o get the pipe away from the kid  l o o s e , the board then f l o a t s and the boy p u l l s h i m s e l f  up onto i t .  61 Thank God,  I t h i n k , Beebo and Jock y e l l and the other  pipe l o o s e n s i t s e l f as the board f l o a t s away from i t . kid  The  j u s t l i e s t h e r e on the grey board as the narrow p i p e moves  over him and the board d r i f t s towards the Nootka, i t h i t s then s t a r t s moving back towards the l i t t l e boat: shouts Beebo, dont p a n i c , s t a y put. to  Beebo who  h o l d on,  L e f t y gets the s l i n g s up  jumps onto them then L e f t y winds them up a g a i n ,  over the r a i l i n g , and down over the s i d e , down t o the board. The board t i l t s up, the s l i n g s down, the s l i n g s move out, the board over, the board rocks up, the s l i n g s j e r k over t o i t : up; out; down; one s i d e ; one end; another s i d e ; another r o c k i n g , swinging, t i l t i n g ,  jerking.  end;  F i n a l l y , the k i d grabs  the p i p e s and Beebo l e t s go of the wires with h i s r i g h t hand, gets h o l d of the boy under h i s shoulder, p u l l s as the k i d pushes the board w i t h the l e f t  f o o t , gets on the p i p e s w i t h  the r i g h t , then the l e f t manages to f i n d i t s way  onto the  thin pipes. Beebo crouches s l i g h t l y t o balance the t h i n g and the kid  almost f a l l s over but doesnt; then, very slowly, L e f t y  s t a r t s to wind i t up, the k i d moves t o the end, holds the wires i n one hand and c l u t c h e s Beebo's arm w i t h the o t h e r . Because Beebo's so heavy the p i p e s are a t an almost  degree  angle but somehow they dont swing out and i n e x c e s s i v e l y , just s l i g h t l y .  The h i g h e r they get the worse i t i s , Beebo  s l i d e s h i s l e g over as f a r as he can and I t s t r a i g h t e n s out a bit.  Finally,  a f t e r what appears to be f i v e minutes,  they  62 c l e a r the r a i l i n g ; and Jock helps them, s t e a d i e s i t , then, down they go t o the deck.  The k i d stands t h e r e , a l l wet,  s m i l e s , l i s t e n s t o what Beebo and Jock say t o him,  looks over  the s i d e t o h i s mom o r the woman I take t o be h i s mom. l o o k s scared, no, apprehensive,  She  I dont blame her; the man  keeps moving the boat back and f o r t h , keeping i t out from the Nootka, but c l o s e ; and the board has d r i f t e d way out, w e l l I suppose they got p l e n t y ; b u t the woman, the woman, what can they do? She  s i t s t h e r e and waits as Beebo gets onto the s l i n g s  a g a i n , i s r a i s e d a g a i n , c l e a r s the s i d e , comes down towards her.  She l o o k s a t him, e x p r e s s i o n l e s s , doesnt move, doesnt  say a t h i n g .  The man says something  head; Beebo says something,  t o her, she shakes h e r  t h e man t r a n s l a t e s .  She catches  the s l i n g w i t h one hand, then, very r e l u c t a n t l y l i f t s the baby up t o Beebo who c r a d l e s i t i n one arm while he balances the s l i n g s , t r i e s t o steady them with h i s l e g s .  She pauses a  few seconds, looks r e s i g n e d , then she comes up out o f her crouch, l e t s go o f the s l i n g s , t u r n s , her bum i s towards Beebo, and he swings the p i p e under, and she grabs the wires w i t h her r i g h t hand, holds the p i p e near Beebo s f o o t w i t h !  her l e f t , l i f t s drawn up.  her l e g s s l o w l y .  Very slowly the s l i n g s a r e  Just as t h e y ' r e up above the r a i l i n g  v o i c e next t o me shout:  I hear a  what do you t h i n k you're doing?  t u r n , a hard l o o k i n g man, medium h e i g h t , get those  I  slings  down, wart next t o h i s nose, jowly, dont ever l e t me see you  6 do that a g a i n .  3  I take a f a s t l o o k a t him, he's mad, r e a l l y  mad, but I d i d n t have t o look t o t e l l t h a t , I b e a t i t ;  right  a c r o s s the upper deck, down the l a d d e r , over the quadrant, along the s i d e deck, pass Coco's c a b i n , mine, pass t h e cupboard, i n t o the hot mess. Coco's t h e r e , s i t t i n g l e g s up on the bench, a mug o f c o f f e e on the t a b l e , a c i g a r e t t e i n h e r mouth. to  you? she says without removing  c a p t a i n ' s mad...the guys...the try  What happened  the c i g a r e t t e .  sling:  I...the  I t r y t o e x p l a i n and  to breathe and t r y to t e l l her, the k i d almost drowned;  no, he d i d n t ; he's r e a l l y got presence, he, he's so c o o l , his  b e a n i e . . . l e t me get you a cuppa c o f f e e , she says, wanta  borrow my comb?  I take i t , unpin my l o o s e h a i r , f o r some  reason I t h i n k o f a t e a c h e r I had i n grade f o u r who blew up at  a c l a s s because,  I cant get i t through these  stinking  knots, the c a p t a i n d i d n t scowl, he meant i t , never a g a i n . Coco comes out with the c o f f e e :  you know I knew  something  l i k e t h i s would happen, you know b e f o r e I ever saw t h a t guy, I knew t h e r e ' d be t r o u b l e . for  me.  Sugar?  No thanks.  Cream?  Yeah.  You knew he was put on here with  orders to c l e a n up the s h i p , d i d n ' t ya? didnt r e a l l y , said a t lunch.  She pours i t i n  Uh-hmm, I say.  I  I t h i n k , I gathered that from what you and Puppi He's a mean one a l r i g h t , mind you I dont know  myself, I've heard i t , t h a t ' s why he's here, but you cant really t e l l The  till... engine s t a r t s up, i n t e r r u p t s h e r , my God she says.  Whata r a c k e t , I shout, cant they do anything about  that?  They  61+ c o u l d , she says, they c o u l d but they wont.  She  gets up  and  shuts the door which I d i d n t do p r o p e r l y , she c l o s e s the s l i t t e d peek-through,  but i t doesnt h e l p much.  I n o t i c e the  guys d i d n t have mugup, she says, t h e y ' l l be i n In a minute, I guess the o l d man  had something  to do with that t o o .  I  guess so, I say, as i f I know i t but I dont, no wonder L e f t y was  f u s s i n g about  the k e t t l e , they were going to have i t  early, while waiting. the oven and I go to my  Coco goes t o check something  c a b i n , put l i p s t i c k on q u i c k l y , ray  h a i r Is awful, w e l l there's n o t h i n g I can do about j u s t wet  i t down.  t h i s time.  i t now  I go back t o the mess, shut the door  Have a c i g a r e t t e , Coco says, i t i s n t any  t r y i n g to work when the boys come i n . light  that's i n  i t , u n c e r t a i n , enough potatoes?  tight  use  I take a Craven-A, I say.  P l e n t y , she  answers, I hope t h a t goddamn r o a s t i s n t d r y — t h o s e buggers they t u r n up the stove and l e a v e i t t h e r e . ass a g a i n , says Beebo, you women you  S i t t i n g on your  sure got a s o f t  touch.  He t o u s e l s my h a i r as he passes, some t r i p t h i s i s going t o be, hey k i d , some f i r s t r u n f o r you.  I b l u s h and l o o k at  Coco as he goes t o the g a l l e y f o r h i s c o f f e e . She s m i l e s back at me  and L e f t y steps i n , heads  s t r a i g h t f o r the g a l l e y , looks smug almost, not what I: r i g h t a f t e r him, passes.  Jock, thumb In suspenders, he snaps i t ,  Beebo l e t s him i n t o the g a l l e y  ( t h e r e ' s not room f o r  two to c r o s s even sideways) then comes out, puts h i s mug next t o me.  I'm  i n your s e a t , I say as I get up;  down  stay down  65 k i d , he says, you might  as w e l l w h i l e you can.  What's up?  Coco says as he swings the c h a i r next to me around, back of i t on the t a b l e , s i t s down f a c i n g h e r . b i t c h , he t h i n k s he knows what to do; so, we him, w e ' l l j u s t do what he s a y s .  on?  I say.  That son of a  decided t o f i x  W e l l , what happened?  says we g o t t a use the boards no matter what. get  l e a n s the  How  will  He they  He couldnt care l e s s , says Beebo, he says i f  they wont, w e l l t h e y ' l l just stay where they a r e ; and i f they're a l r e a d y on the boat, t h e y ' l l get o f f at the n e a r e s t port. front  Yeah, says Jock as he passes behind me, of Coco who  has  squeezes i n  j u s t s l i d over to the bench end, cant  y o u j u s t see that l a s s i e s , cant you 1  j u s t see t h a t ?  H a l f an hour overtime, Jock says, as he s t i r s h i s t e a , and t h e r e ' l l be at l e a s t four on top of what we u s u a l l y g e t , at l e a s t , probably s i x i f t h i s keeps up, and we're not going to b i t c h are we?  why  should we?  w e ' l l just do what he says.  Why? I say cause I dont understand.  I t ' s t h i s way,  says  Beebo, i f he dont g i v e us our mugup when we want i t we  cant  h e l p i t i f the job takes l o n g e r than I t should, can we? nod my head yes, no, and they see my  confusion.  c a t c h on, k i d , you're going t o have t o .  You'll  I t d i d n t take us  h a l f an hour, says Jock, but when I t goes f i v e minutes an hour,  i t ' s h a l f an hour, understand?  I  Uh-huh? I say.  into You  know, Beebo says to Coco, t h a t b a s t a r d wouldnt even l e t us tak:e the f i s h f o r o u r s e l v e s , he wanted i t , he d i d , but o l d B i l l wouldnt g i v e i t t o him.  Jock and Beebo laugh and  Jock  66 says, d i d you happening?  see o l d B i l l ' s  f a c e when he r e a l i z e d what  They both laugh, L e f t y comes i n , what you  about, he says, that man  a i n t no  joke.  Old B i l l ,  was  joking  says Beebo,  and the three of them s m i l e . L e f t y goes and his  t e a , get me  stands next  to Beebo, pours honey i n t o  the c o n t r a c t , Jan.  again, b o s s i n g as u s u a l . t u r n to my l e f t ,  I l o o k at him,  In the desk, l a s s , says Jock.  open the drawer on the l i t t l e  t h e r e ' s an orange s c r i b b l e r , an a i r - l e t t e r pad, a p u r p l e one,  two  a l l cocky I  wooden c a b i n e t , a b l a c k book,  seabooks, one Sports I l l u s t r a t e d , beneath  them some white paper, s t a p l e d . and shove the others back.  T h i s ? I say as I p u l l i t out  Yeah, says L e f t y as he  around Beebo, t h a t ' s i t . He s m i l e s at me  steps  as he takes  It, a  thanks of s o r t s , holds i t between thumb and f i n g e r s , stomps back t o h i s p l a c e . • Prom now says, i t ' s our B i b l e , by God,  on we're going t o use t h i s , and the only one we've g o t .  he  

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0104408/manifest

Comment

Related Items