Laurie Kolp paints a portrait of a hard living man and the nature of inevitability.
Answering the Call
Pete left me for New Orleans where he could hop from barge to
barge, ship to tanker, climb up and down ladders from cargo holds
to docks along the Mississippi River. He had no place to stay, just
drove away in his blue Chevy truck with steel-toed boots, bagged
clothes, and peanut butter on worn passenger seat. Took a chance
at an AA meeting that he might find an Old Sober Drunk willing
enough to open his home to a stranger which he did— one bald-
headed man named Bob their handshake down payment securing
trust. Days piled together like stale bread, endless weeks without a
break. Pete rushed around, working up and down the river, eating
seldom sleeping. Time became a swift current and one day he
slipped from barge to river, which delivered a deep slit on his
cheekbone. Exhausted, he left New Orleans, came back to me a
burnt out light with no intentions of returning calls from his
worried boss, no plans to call and say he was okay, but after a few
short days he couldn’t stay away from the water, and I couldn’t
keep him here.
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