The ferry took off and it got him to thinking of the eventual shopping that lay waiting after the return trip back to the mainland. The ferry rides were always a sanctuary of sorts from the shopping, which inevitably left him worn and battered, physically and emotionally.
Guys don’t like shopping. But, if you go out with someone, or go on holiday somewhere (and not alone), you end up in a store somewhere looking at stuff you’d never be caught dead with in a million years. But, we do it anyway, and we smile all along, too. Because we know it makes who we are with happy.
It’s similar to garage salers in that they are the ones who are up early Saturday mornings dragging someone along to someone else’s crap, I mean, treasure. We can easily spot the unwilling garage salers, too, for they are the ones with large thermos cups of coffee in tow, smiling and nodding, best they can, at the myriad of crap, I mean, treasure, that awaits them.
The grizzled old man thought of the times when he was younger, when he would find a gin mill and take a load off, sip a whiskey, chase it with a cold beer and shoot the shit with the locals while his lady was off looking at various things in stores he would never blink at if he passed them. He was on the ferry now, for what seemed like the millionth time, but he never thought those times when his shopping consisted of belting back a few cold ones was much of a burden to bear or a price to pay for the comfort of warm companionship.
He originally found the solace of the island as a means to avoid going into town, save for the bi-monthly trips for supplies that consisted of paper products, canned goods, charcoal for his grill and some meat when he could afford it. All of these things complimented his typewriter and were mere necessities that enabled him to put his thoughts down on paper.
He found the old typewriter better than any computer could ever be, although he never actually tried a computer. Part of his supply runs were for paper and ribbon for the old Royal typing machine. There was a guy of his vintage that ran one of the few general stores still in existence and those things of a bygone era could still be found in adequate supply. He figured he’d be good to go as far as his modest existence was concerned, right up until the time he would eventually leave the planet.
Relationships were always like addendums to his days. They had to be considered, fertilized if they were to continue for any length of time. They also had to be cultivated and involved large degrees of tolerance, not to mention patience.
He remembered times in the past after a relationship had ended poorly (didn’t they always end up that way?), and he was once again left to his own devices—a loner with no hope for change for the better.
The ferry had a way of adjusting his thinking on all of that. To him it was a living, breathing animal. It had the ability to recognize trouble, make turns to the right side and avoid hard times by virtue of its survival instincts. The ferry was both his greatest teacher and his greatest friend. Everyone needs a constant that isn’t a person in their life. The ferry was his.