Angle to Key West: Dad’s Workshop (1/28)

Dad pushing me in the water

Tallahassee, FL – January 28, 2013

Tools crowd one wall of my dad’s workshop. Drills, wrenches, screwdrivers, duct tape. Florescent lights glow overhead. One flickers and never pops to life unless you flip the switch a few times when you come in. The Looksha shines under the lights, stretching out from the garage door across the center of the room with all of her seventeen feet and four inches. I stare at her when I walk in. I haven’t seen her for days. She looks clean, wiped down with a towel, bright.

I left her on the cement floor, still wet, dripping salt water into a pool beneath her. I threw my gear around her to dry then disappeared for days, hiding in my room, on the couch, in my bed, over dinners with friends. I didn’t want to look, I didn’t want to remember the repairs stacked up in my mind, choices about equipment, decisions, one on top of another, ready to topple into me if I touched any of them. I only wanted to lie on a bed and close my eyes night after night after night, the words tomorrow on my lips, tomorrow’s tomorrow in my mind.

But there she lay, bright yellow, wiped clean, every screw tightened and checked, the rudder lines re-enforced, the scratches examined. My dad put his hand around my shoulders and squeezed my arm. We both stared at the boat for a moment.

“She looks better than I thought she would,” my dad said. “I think she’ll make it.”

“Thanks, dad,” I said. “I hope you’re right.”

4 thoughts on “Angle to Key West: Dad’s Workshop (1/28)

  1. Your dad is a handsome guy. I hear he beat you in a paddling race while you were in Tallahassee area. And the Looksha is one tough kayak.

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