The Bainbridge Diaries pt. 2

I’d be lying if I said Bainbridge Island was the most exciting place in the world. But today on the ferry coming here something sort of exciting did happen.

We were about halfway across Puget Sound, cruising along as normal. I was lying down in one of the booths thinking about my life and the clouds and the state of the world. I didn’t have a book with me to read, or a pen with me to write, so the only think I could do was lie there and think my thoughts. Which in a way was ideal.

All of the sudden the boat lurched northward and we began making a 90 degree turn. I had no idea what was going on. Had we forgotten someone? Did the captain accidentally lean on the steering wheel? In my 22 years of riding the ferry this had never happened. I wondered if maybe we were going to sail to Canada, and a substantial part of me welcomed the thought. Or maybe we would head through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and out to sea, all of us on the boat forming a small sea colony in the middle of the ocean. We’d elect a leader and hold counsels. I would run for president and propose our little floating country be called “Gingembre” (French for “Ginger”) after the pup I missed so.

The captain came on over the loudspeaker.

“Folks, the Coast Guard has asked us to investigate a craft back behind us in the water. See if there’s anyone in or around it. So we’ll be doing that. Shouldn’t take long.”

Behind us I could see the craft he spoke of in the water. It was bobbing there and looking decrepit. It also looked lonely. I wondered if there could be anyone in it, but it appeared to be empty. People started making their way to the part of the boat where they could see what the captain was talking about.

As we made the wide turn the collective imagination of the ferry boat began to run wild. Was there someone in the boat? Was this a murder mystery? Were we about to see a body?

As we pulled up alongside the small craft people clamored to the side to try to look inside. I was probably one of the first to see it. Water, black, sloshing inside. This boat was adrift. It was decrepit, just as it looked. There was no one inside.

Then we were right next to it, and it slid by beneath us. We all looked inside. Was that an old crab pot? I think some of us were disappointed there wasn’t a body inside. That would be the stuff that novels are made of, but not the stuff that happens in real life. In real life it’s just a boat without passengers, made to look like it’s moored in the middle of the sea because of a bow line held stiff by the current.

Soon the boat was gone, and I went back downstairs to lie down. Then we docked, and I made my way up the gangway to the street, where I’d begin the walk to my parents’ house. Again my mind began to wander, as it usually does when I don’t have something to distract me.

The Bainbridge Diaries pt. 1

I just had Subway, which is a fitting way to start off my Bainbridge Island sojourn because my mom has a soft spot for Subway and the other day she treated me to an Italian B.M.T while we were waiting to get the ferry for a different Bainbridge sojourn.

The reason I’m going to Bainbridge is to dog sit my sister’s dog, a lab/German Shepherd mix named Ginger who I might love more than anything else in the world. I’m exaggerating, of course, sort of. But I’m also not. In a way my love for Ginger is more pure than the love for the humans in my life, since in our relationship is more basic. It consists of me taking her for walks, pretending to want the bone she plays with so she can growl and keep it away from me, and kissing her goodnight on the forehead (if dogs even have foreheads) each night before I go upstairs to sleep.

I’ll be on Bainbridge for a week, commuting almost everyday to Seattle to work for a few hours. Tomorrow, for example, I have two interpretations in the morning right after each other on Capitol Hill, and then I go right home to be with Ginger. On Friday I have a two hour interpretation and then I go back home to be with Ginger and wait until the disappointment that will almost surely be the US Men’s Soccer team versus Panama for World Cup Qualifying. Then on the weekend more walks, probably a couple trips to the dog park, and maybe a trip to my friend Danny’s so Ginger can play with one of her pseudo friends, Max.

I say “pseudo friend” because Ginger doesn’t have any dog friends. She doesn’t pay attention to other dogs, unless it’s to try to hump them to display her dominance. But Max, a purebred lab a bit smaller than her and male, can hold his own against Ginger. One time, at Danny’s house, after a brief scuffle, he even stood over her, dominant, as she lay submissive on the floor. I had never seen that before.

Today will be a bit of a boring day but that’s exactly what I’m going for. When I get to my parents’ house I’m going to take Ginger to the field by their house and throw a lacrosse ball for her. Then I’ll go inside and eat something, and then take her for a walk in the evening around the Wing Point neighborhood, about two miles. This is a good walk because she’s always exhausted by the end of it, primarily from pulling on the leash. I could train her but at this point almost welcome the pulling because it wears her out, and when she’s worn out she behaves better at home. Not that she behaves badly; Ginger is a sweetheart.

In the evening I’ll have a bottle of beer and probably google Christian Pulisic, the soccer player I’m currently obsessed with. I’ll do Duolingo in German and maybe read an article and watch a video in German. Maybe I’ll practice my French. There’s very little chance I’ll practice my Spanish. Today I interpreted for a guy who brought his son with him to the hearing exam, and of course I got a little aggressive when he brought his son into the exam room with him, like he didn’t trust in my interpreting abilities or something. The nurse said, “You are a very good interpreter,” and I thought, How would you know if I’m a good interpreter. She claimed to speak some Spanish but this seemed dubious.

Finally at night I’ll read Guns, Germs and Steel, lament how boring it is, and go to bed. One of my goals for this week is to not spend any money, to only eat the food my parents have at their house, even if this means soaking split peas in water to make split pea soup like in war times. I don’t know how this will go, though, since I can see myself wanting some Ginger breaks at coffee shops.