The Soupster has springtime dreams of being on the water.
Originally published April 18, 2002
The Soupster haunted the docks the last few April days, studying skiffs. With no prior symptoms to warn him, the boat bug had bitten him squarely and he mightily suffered its effects.
The Soupster tried his best, and for the most part succeeded, in following the advice of the wise old fisherman, who had once said:
“You don’t want a big boat, Soupster. What you want is a skiff and a good motor. Everything else, for you, would be just a bigger hole in the water.”
Even possibly an inflatable, the Soupster thought. Like a hard-bottomed inflatable on a trailer. A steering station, of course, he always thought. Who doesn’t like to look ahead to where they are going?
“Hey, Soupster,” called Culver, striding purposefully from the large boat part of the marina. “A skiff would not be enough for me,” he crowed. “I take my family in comfort. You know, Soupster, the whole five of us are bonding on that boat.” He pointed to the “Blue Hope” – a diesel trawler. “Last night my wife read to me and the kids from David Copperfield. Hey, what did you do with my crazy family?”
“Me, I’m just looking for a little taxi to drive myself around a bit on sunny and flat days,” said the Soupster. “You know when the water looks like you could just lay out flat on the surface and take the sun.”
“A mosquito can do that,” Culver said. “Water has enough surface tension that a mosquito can just stand on it. Like a solid surface to them.”
“The meek of the Earth,” said Soupster. “Or the most obnoxious – depending on whether you are in dense forest and it’s sundown or not. Meek… How about the green moss poking through the snow? Moss is like very meek and also the first green thing each Spring.”
“I de-mossed my lawn last year,” Culver said. “Amazing stuff, moss. There’s no roots holding it down. You can peel it back like a carpet. Which I did, last summer – peeled a truckload of moss off my lawn. I used a thatch rake – you know, those meaty looking rakes. Got the thatch rake tines underneath the moss and peeled it up just like a carpet. Moss is beautiful stuff really.” He shook his head.
“I was looking for a thatch rake!” said the Soupster. “I looked all over town and couldn’t find one. Not one. Can I borrow yours?”
“Sure,” Culver said. “Amazing about Our Town. Big as it is, we can still run out of things. Like thatch rakes. And even milk.”
“Never run out of boats, though,” said the Soupster, indicating the massive harbor and its hundreds of denizens.
“Got that right,” said Culver.