Hide & Seek

Abogged and over worked diesel truck passes by leaving an exhaust trail looks sothick it could stain whatever it comes in contact with. The burnt diesel fillsmy nostrils with a soggy dark smell that no one longs to be around in longduration. It’s an amazing thing that happens when I smell diesel I’m brought toa memory, a memory not so far back, where I found the very thing that wouldchange my life forever.
It’sMid-November 2008, in South East Alaska near an island named Wrangell, anot-so-large fishing vessel named The Pacifica is anchored in a cove. A dingyvessel it appears to be, an off white fiberglass outer shell that’s seen yearsof ocean employment, dirt and wear decorates the craft, wood trim sun burnt andrough. Fishermen’s tools lay in their fitting locations, waiting to be used tothe job designed for them to do. It’s nearly three in the morning and the dayis yet to birth, the water the boat lounges in is a calm glassy reflection ofthe snowcapped mountains that surround the body of water. Beauty surrounds theugly rig, as if submerged in an oil canvas that could decorate a mantle in somewarm house. The image all together is hiding something, not something directlynoticeable, whatever it is, is very abstract. And suggestive.
Inthe cabin the Captain Howard McVicker; a thin frail old man who looks beyondhis years of life, it’s obvious that his beard is need of a shave. He is reheatinga cup of coffee from yesterday’s remnants of a pot. He is preparing for the dayahead of him. The boat is crouched in the water from the last three day’s catch.Needing to haul in the load before setting off to fulfill the load allotted bythe permit he purchased; he steps down to the hall to the living quarters towake up his young deck hand he just acquired a few months ago. Me.
It’sa cubbyhole of a room, more like a slip to lie in. I hear Howard mumblingsomething as he raps on my door, probably a smart-assed retort to a previousargument we had about a buoy left out or whatever old...