It read my mind.
|—||James Baldwin, ‘The Man Child’|
My father and his boat. We were poor and he bought a boat. He was going to fish. He put so much time and money into it. I’ve always known we were poor. It’s always been there. I helped him fix the boat as much as I could. I was eleven or twelve. I always went with him to the dock. Watched him. He was often angry and I was always wary. He never actually let me handle anything. He wasn’t a teacher in that way. I’d just watch. Maybe I should have asked to help but I didn’t. He would explain things but I was afraid of him so I couldn’t really listen.
We finally took the boat out to fish. I knew there was a lot depending on it and that he put his other, his real job, on hold. He was a captain of a supply boat for oil rigs out of Louisiana. As a child I knew this. It was what he’d always been.
I was sick the whole time. It was a 27 foot boat with a 3,000 pound keel. I don’t know what these facts really mean but I know that these were the facts. It rolled. In the Gulf of Mexico. And it was a diesel engine and I was sick. The whole time. I laid on the bunk and puked on the floor. He put a bucket down and asked if I could puke in the bucket. I tried. He also gave me crackers to eat and said that they might help, that he’d seen other people slowly accustom themselves to the sea by eating saltines. I don’t remember if I ate any or not.
There actually came a point where he needed my help. He needed me to hold a light so he could pull up the lines to see if we’d caught anything. I must have done well enough but what I remember is standing on an unsteady piece of deck and feeling nauseous.
We were supposed to stay out a few days but the next morning we went home because I just couldn’t do it. I was still sick.
He left the next day to go back to his other, his real, job. I’d definitely let him down. When I think of it, I think I’m not really his son.
He’s never mentioned it. He’s never made me feel bad about it. Around the time he and my mother got divorced, he’d decided to teach himself computers and he got a job with a website.
I’m not afraid of him anymore. At some point in my early 20s, I quit. I think he’s an impressive human now. I like being around him.
Here you go. I was going to use my phone app if I got bored enough tonight.
Good advice for treatment of diapositives
We do what we can to make your copies of dias as good as possible. All loose dust can be removed by us, except dust that is stuck fast or between the glass of dias in a showcase, will return to your copies and cannot ??? flecks of dust, (and something about advertising?)
Døhlen’s Photo Laboratory A/S, Strømmen
I lost it a bit with the “p.g.a.” part
Photography. Must be someone’s bookmark.
Thanks. That’ll probably be the most exciting part of my evening.
The problem with working part time in a used bookstore. I always find stuff I want. I already have two volumes of Conrad’s complete stories that I still have to buy. Waiting on the hold shelf.
I have three copies of Pan. But I don’t have this copy of Pan. Hamsun is the only author I’ve ever bought multiple copies of the same book for different translations and cover art. And then there’s this index card in Norwegian(?) Looks like it tells one how to take care of a book.
Sometimes I’ll buy two copies of a book if I think it’ll be worth money some day. Like The Girlhood of Shakespeare’s Heroines by John Crowley. I wish I’d bought two copies of Rising Up and Rising Down.