There is a storm and the inlet is ebbing. The Salmon are running hard and we choose to keep our nets in the water, drifting south. We come into Homer late, reaching the spit with our hold filled. I have been vomiting and my body aches, but land is land and I tell my captain I'm going to get a coffee somewhere and write letters. I don't care if you close down the salty dawg, he says, so long as your on the boat when we cut loose in the morning.
It is a clear day. The Shiloh is doing well. We have fished for 12 days running and the fish have not let up, but had slowed the evening prior. This had meant a clam in which to refuel and collect them mail. I'd even made it into town and picked up some energy bars, fruit, some magazines, and medical tape for my wrists.
When we shove off at first thing he does is tell me bananas are bad luck and I eat all three to keep from having to through them over. The coffee tastes like peanut shells. See that pink boat starboard he is pointing, that would fit right in to your vogue magazine there. I laugh. Don't let the other guys see you reading that or you'll never hear the end of it. We are alone on the boat, and he is referring to the boats we tie up with, fish with, the 4 boats we hear on the radio out of the fleet of 500. The Excalibur, The Katmai, The Leah K, and Scott's Rawson. What he means by this is that he cannot wait to tell them. They've only just gotten over the fact that people still spray letters with perfume. I didn't know it either, but i found out, and my name was on it.
That afternoon The Katmai burned when the engine blew. We brought their wide-eyed crew to shore, but i did not hide the magazine when they came into the cabin.
I am fourteen, reading Steinbeck on a bench beside the kander river. It is the first time I have cried because of art. It is dinner time, the wind picks up, and my prohibition, shoelace, drinkmouse day begins to end.