I smell saltwater, and just like that, I’m 10-years old again, and we’re driving past that cranberry processing plant where berries roll and float in salty pools, the tidal waters renewed twice a day, and we’re a mile or so away from the marina where once a year Dad goes deep-sea fishing. That’s our summer holiday, Dad going fishing, and we camp in a tent that leaks after the cat jumped on it, and Mum cooks meals on a green Coleman stove with the flame that blows out when the wind kicks-up a lick. And at sunrise, we break camp, Dad calls it decamping. The car’s repacked: the Coleman stove, plastic plates and metal cups, cutlery with bent forks and dull knives, and the tent with its stakes, poles, the telescoping mid-support that extends and pinches out bits of flesh from your fingers, and bye-bye, Dad drives off at the break of dawn for the marina (the early bird catches the worm, he says), and he leaves Mum, me and my 6-year old sister to walk 5-miles along a road with no shoulder, with dead wildlife smooshed into the road by speeding vehicles rushing off to catch fish, and Mum’s counting dead snakes that haven’t made it to the other side of the road because Mum hates snakes, and the only good snake is a dead snake, she says, and it’s like Hades hot – the late summer sun bouncing off the pavement, and my little sister is crying because her feet hurt, so Mum promises us a double ice cream cone if we can keep jolly for the rest of the trek, and I glare at my sister who’s bound to be the first one to burst into tears again, which means I won’t get my ice cream, and it’s a rare treat because Mum and my grandpa frown on sweets and ice cream (Grandpa’s a dentist) … but anyway, back to smelling saltwater- my Mum said saltwater cures everything ailing you. She’d sniff saltwater up her sinuses when she had a headache. Or a sore throat. Or hay fever. Or a bad day. Her home remedies were always a puzzle, and rarely worked because one must have faith in them for their magic to work.
his hook drops quick and cold
a walk through a boneyard
jangling our camping gear
Written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday “puzzle” Photo by Mado El Khouly on Unsplash ©Misky 2021
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