First Boat Out


It was habit. Get a maple doughnut and a coffee and head off to the small queue. This time however Georgia wouldn’t be here. A first journey out on Toronto’s lake.

The ice had gone. This was the first boat trip out and there was still a small jewelled and ragged necklace of ice round the island.

The small boat had a few Chinese tourists on board but was pretty empty. He drank the coffee and watched the CN Tower come slowly up from the surrounding city. Even here he could feel what these Iroquois must have felt. The power of a waking and changing nature. It mulled the edge of his grief but he was happier.

The box of wedding photographs, family snaps and of Eddie were in the weighted cosmetic tin. The metal top had an acacia leaf on top. The burnished green leaf glistened as the bright light came into the covered part of the small boat.

Eddie had died from leukaemia ten years ago and it had nearly broke Georgia. His sister was twelve years younger than him and now living in Vancouver she had grieved. He looked forward to seeing her later over the web.

The backwash from the boat churned up a green and brown elixir. The bumpy ride would have made her laugh then he would have felt that tap on the shoulder when she laughed.

Never get that bogged down in grief you forget the gifts we had and what we loved and lived through together.

He had even stopped himself being angry at his company that measured time you spent at your toilet breaks. A brief respite of a few months after the funeral had ended. The young manager eager to suck up to management and agree to early morning meetings had told him off once. The tears he had let go and stemmed on her birthday had almost made him see him floored but he smiled and asked if the toilets could get some coconut moisturiser. It had been her favourite. He then had gone back to the maintenance department’s invoices for the quarter.

As the boat skipper described something on the island he slipped the green box into the water. The young son of the Chinese couple smiled when he saw him. By now the boat was turning away from the lacy carapace of ice around the island.

The boy was still watching him as he blew a small kiss with two fingers from his lips.

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