Boat in the Forest

Subj: Boat in the Forest
Date: 95-08-17 13:54:49 EDT 
  To: El Polvo 

Ahem, in my tenth book, Echo, published by Random House, on page 327, last paragraph, there is the following: "Elk make sense. Pastures make sense. Golf makes sense. Dicto simplicitor: Playing golf in an elk pasture makes sense." If I was ever to write again that's what I'd do, is write book proposals. So that's a course on AOL? Neat. I'll check it out. My kids are into computers, the school they'll be going to has computer courses from first grade on. Sorry to lose you as a wrangler. Well, there's a Levite I'm considering for the position. It'll be enough to have you and Kathleen visit now and then. You be interested in tromping around the wilderness a lil? Maybe we'd find a boat, sort of a mystical thing, down in this gully, 36 footer, all teak, mahogany, tattered remains of sail snapping in the breeze, otherwise perfect shape. In the galley a skeleton in yellow storm slicker, hat, log on the table nailed there, we look at one another, go down, look around, there's no modern gear at all, a sextant is it, telescope, some nautical tables. You open the log, reach into your jacket to get your glasses, peer at the page you opened to, look up. "It"s in Spanish, but ancient, either that or maybe it's Portuguese." I look, but just then we hear some movement, there's a sigh, we go back under the foredeck and see it, big brown thing. "It's a bear," you say. "I saw one once playing golf on Santa Clara Peak." And it's true, it's a hibernating grizzly. And there are small cubs asleep nestled against its belly. "I don't like this," I say. "Tell me about it," you say. I open a cupboard and there's a bottle of amber liquid, I pull the cork and sniff at it. Brandy. I take a sip, good, hot, takes the nip out of the air. I offer you some, you ask if there's a beer in there, I tell you I don't think so, you say Well look, I look, and there's this other bottle, I take out the cork, sniff at it, it's powerful, sort of strips the mucous membranes out of my olfactories. You offer to taste it, I tell you it isn't beer, you say you know that from the smell, you lip a sip, grimace, swallow a good one, breathe fire for a minute, holding your gut with clenched fingers till the pain subsides, then sit down, sigh, smile, hold the bottle out to me. I try it, almost puke on the spot, manage to hold it down, Jesus! What is this stuff? I start to see weird lights, feel like the boat is lurching, hold onto the head door. Holy shit! The porthole! The boat is moving, and there's a frigid wind blowing, the smell of salt spray, now a howling. You hear it too. The boat spins suddenly and we tumble back through the main cabin up against the steps as a wave of briney water crashes in. The bear awakens, looks at us. Two of the cubs wash into your lap struggling. There is this impossible shriek of rage from the mother. The boat spins again hurling the slickered skeleton against her and she smashes it into pieces, grabs the skull in her jaws and crunches it into small shells that sleet through the cockpit. Well, I gotta get back to work, pack the house up into relatively little boxes. I'll be doing this for a few more days, the moving guys come in to help me load it into the U Haul next Tuesday. Carpet cleaner comes the next day and then I'm outta here. Moose Montana