About me and this blog

I was born on a native reserve in Ontario, grew up on the west coast of Vancouver Island (as far west as you can go without running out of Canada), came of age in Mexico City. Between times, I lived in the Fraser Valley, Texas, Seattle, Oklahoma, Bella Coola, on the BC north coast, and the Fraser River Delta, just south of Vancouver. For now, I'm "settled" in Campbell River, on Vancouver Island.

I have a boatload of stories to tell. These are some of them.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Wreck

In the winter storms, a derelict fishing boat washes ashore, half sunken, and comes to ground between the pier and my bedroom window. I watch her through the early spring, as the waves nudge her one way and another until she is tightly wedged on some unseen gap in the rocks. At low tide the cabin and the front deck are exposed, slanting towards me, beckoning.

As soon as the weather is warm enough, I swim out and clamber aboard.

The cabin is tiny and dark, more from ancient grease than from paint. My hands stick to the doorjamb. I pick my way to the wheel, sloshing through knee-deep water across broken floorboards, and stand there, pretending to steer. Straight ahead, a forest of tarry pilings underneath the old cannery bars the way. I imagine backing, turning to miss the pier, and heading out to open water. I would go north, just to see what's there; hills and trees I have never seen, islets with no name, lonely cliffs.

There is a smear of pitch on my right arm; my hands, when I turn them palms up, are black. I back gingerly out of the cabin, careful not to touch anything more. For the rest of the summer, I use the prow deck as my private sun-bathing place.

In October, my little harbour is empty again. Whether the tide broke the wreck up, or she just floated out to sea, I don't know. I never saw her go.

Stories of childhood
Susannah Anderson, 2003

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