Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monk's Voyage

Of all the days, of all the rainy days, Monk had to have picked this one. He tugged on the brim of his canvas cap and stepped into his boat. And why the hell did seagulls always have to hang around those crates in the corner? He had asked Rusty to swap that mess and it obviously never got done. He picked up a plastic bucket and threw it in their direction. He missed wildly. One hopped out of the way, gave him what appeared to be a look of affrontation and continued his eager perching.

Monk climbed into the cabin and closed the door. Fuck, it was cold. He flipped on the little brown space heater and shrugged off his raincoat. He went to hang it up but remembered the hook had come out days ago. Chiding himself for not having replaced it, he tossed the coat into the corner and laid his hat on top. He lit a smoke and leaned against the console. What a day. Through the thick beads of rain on the windshield the sky was a swirling mass of gray. It wasn’t raining but it was windy. His blue and orange flag fluttered about nervously high above the prow.

The radio crackled and a garbled voice tried to come through. Monk leaned over and turned it up. More crackling, but no voice. Probably some kids playing around on their dad’s CB. He took a deep drag and wondered once more why he was here. Because Sheila was slowly dying and the bills were starting to pile up. Danika wasn’t going to have to grow up in a God-damn shit box like he did. She wants violin lessons, she’s getting them.

Damn it, Monk. He cursed himself for wasting his time thinking about things he had no business thinking about. You’re 43 years old and life doesn’t get easier just because you want it to. The boat rocked a little. “Must be Rusty,” he thought. “Punk kid's actually on time for once.” He stubbed out his half-burnt cigarette and grabbed a log book, absent-mindedly steeling himself for the teenager’s entrance.

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