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August 9, 2000

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The deck of the Pavlof, as seen from the Kalakala

Finally got around to volunteering on the Kalakala, where I quickly discovered that what Tom Cook taught me 10 years ago had gone up in smoke, burning dirty as poorly adjusted cutting torch. No matter--my cuts were ugly but it was nothing the grinder couldn't fix and the heat and sparks felt good singeing my knee through the hole in my jeans. Buffing the rust off scrap steel, the sheet hummed otherworldly, the moaning of ghosts trapped somewhere in the hull--maybe the engine room where nude painted-white dancers webcast their movements, muscle and bone surrogates for pistons frozen by rust. Then it was time for lunch, Bill's bbq pasta, and the day was just begun...