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.