I'm standing on the icy head of a barge, all rusted to ****. P.J. (the lead deckhand) and I wait patiently with frozen line tearing at our shoulders. We're far away from the buzzy, groaning engines of the Mary C tug, and all I hear is the water being pushed out of our way.
"What direction is that?"
They call rope line. To me it's always been rope and I don't care to call it something else. But they've made it clear, "it is and will always be referred to as line". It'd be nice if terminology was the only thing that ruffled these country boys feathers. Who knew they'd be so strict? And do I really need a question mark if it's rhetorical?
I'm on a boat. It's 6:30 a.m., or as they say back home "early as ****". Sun's poking through the trees and it makes that gentle floating snow a bit more detailed. I stick nervously to the rim, but only because I'm new. It isn't worth pretending to be comfortable, at least not on that thing. Besides, falling in the water is basically equivalent to dying here. The safety videos stressed that. Although, they also swore that a crew will alert you to "watch the bump!" whenever hitting up against something. That's not a real thing though. A lot of the **** we watched isn't real. I'm indifferent. After all, I didn't chase a boat to feel comfortable.
In my heavy-hearted moments, pessimism takes a whack at everything I put faith in. I reject myself and challenge every step that lead me to unhappiness. Big, big questions toss and turn inside my head, and they try to convince me to run home. It happens.
But I'm happy right now, just seeing the sunrise and being surrounded by all these strange factories puffing out clouds. It's probably all bad, toxic stuff. Sometimes it's not worth digging into negative realities. For now, they're factories that make clouds for us to enjoy. P.J. and I both lit up a cigarette and he asked me why I was smiling.
"This is a pretty cool job. I mean, what a way to wake up".
He spit casually off the side, down into the water.
"You aint lyin".