Days of Summer

They’d been working on the small vessel at the dock just across from us for over a week. Stripping wood and rebuilding the wheelhouse. I was sitting in the doorway of MV Dowager. Watching the day. Glasses off, elbows on my knees, hand shielding the sun from my eyes, supporting my head in the aching heat.

He swung the two by four in a wide ark and connected with the newly framed wheelhouse. The wood buckled and bowed under his assault but did not break. Dissatisfied, he lunged at the plywood using the two by four as a batting ram. Pounding away at all that hard work. No words. Just animal grunts aimed at the painstaking effort and then – just before the end – a high snarl of defeat. Throwing the two by four out of the window, he climbed off the boat and on to the dock.

I looked down the dock to the young couple and their young children on the boat next to ours. She’d given me fuzzy-leafs-picked-straight-from-the-plant-peppermint-tea and organic muffins the day before. She shook her head at me, rolled her eyes and smiled. Back to the demonstration, rage unsatisfied, he kicked at the windshield of a small run-about launch. Glass shattered onto the dock and into the water. His face registered surprise at his success and then he stalked away. Shoulders hunched. Fingers curled at the end of his hands. His arms hanging at his side as he made his way past the Mrs. Yachty on the sailboat further down the dock. Past Aggressor and Pacific Wanderer and then up the ramp.

Almost immediately Mr. Yachty arrived back. I saw the two of them, Mr. and Mrs. Yachty, heads close together talking and then raised – searching around. They untied quickly and left. Silently made their escape.

I watched the two by four float away on the current.