train whistles and owls

Train whistles haunt the olympic mountains. From miles below, the good and godly seaside villages, the coastal ghost towns, the toothless grins of ferry workers, don’t I know someone who operates a ferry?

The only fatalities on the ferry system are self-imposed. People jump off and drown. Man at the ticket booth tells us.

“No way in hell. That’s cold water drowning. If I’m going to kill myself I’d rather take a 40 cent bullet to the skull, end it quick, or drown in Hawaii, for fuck’s sake. No reason to freeze to death while killing yourself.”

Promises made to all kinds of disparate voices and faces. Promises failed to the self, the liver, the morning death, the fresh air and the light waves passing through the strait of juan de fuca, oh glistening Victoria, the ferry ride away, the hour, the journey, the invitation to success, the wharf and the eroded-smooth rocks, the paper mill, Port Angeles, with it’s gastropub everyone talks about and the other pub, with Thursday night open mic and the awkward couch seating with the stares of evil eyes from all directions into the night, the outsiders, the city slickers, the college students, the toothsome grins of our drunken minds, the ravenous chewing on the rubber tire pills in the jubelale, the darker the beer the harder the morning, the tipsy day of birth of one of another, there was a heart attack warning, a pulsing in her arteries not quite right, the spasms, the electrodes, the fingers tingling, the head aching with waves, with mountain air, smashing against the surface of the skull, like internal tsunami, miss the call for fresh early coffee, left the light on all night, the lady at the motel, the clean motel, the walking distance to the bookshop, the chocolate shop, the water, the ferry to victoria, the decision we did not make because, we drank instead, we drank the last of my money from the bass cab, we drank more of her money, her heart, the shock of exposed veins when sleeping in the sleeper car of am abyss transport, the darkness above, below, over the sides, everything, us as a vessel passing through darkness, unaware of floating mines or other boats or anything that matters much, just a thousand impressions to coat the inside of our stomachs with.

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