Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

monday evening perfection

The gentle waves splish splish splish against the sides of the boat, as if they’re thinking about hitching a ride. On deck, a long girl lies on a plastic boat cushion, flicking a pen, with her knees pulled up balancing a notebook. The notebook is open but the pages are blank. She is distracted. Church bells dong dong dong in the distance. A train, on the other side of the river, moves snake-like and hoot hoo-hoots hello. The line of freighters push past, like mothers with strollers straining to go uphill. The boat rocks back and forth. Long girl rocks with it.


Great guy is in the water. Cleaning. He does not own up to his addiction, but she is sure therapy would help him. Long girl pokes her head between the gleaming rail and the white edge of the boat, and says to him, “Honey, why don’t you relax and enjoy this. It feels like we’re on holidays. It’s the perfect Monday evening.” “I will, soon,” comes his reply from the water. It needs to be spotless first. With a sponge in one hand he’s scrubbing the greeny sludge from the bottom of the boat while the other hand grips the railing, holding him above water. He bobs along in time with the boat. She shakes her head. “He is so German,” she says to herself not for the first time.


Long girl unsticks her legs from the hot plastic and pulls a bag of peanuts out of the duffel bag which is stuffed with two beach towels, a water bottle and two books. Munch munch munch and she throws the empty hulls overboard, like all of her writing ideas she thinks are no good. Her hands begin to move quicker, ripping the shells open and popping the nuts into her mouth. If only she could inhale ideas like these, she thinks to herself. She hears squish squish squish and knows great guy is still cleaning. 

The evening sun beams down on her like a spotlight. Her foot starts tapping in time with the sound of the waves. She stares across the river at the hollowed out ruins of a castle and it stares back. It’s too pretty here, she thinks. “I can’t write. I need a room without windows.” A fly lands on her, zim zim zim and she watches it. It’s cleaning too.


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