big crane

Our boatyard has two cranes, a big one and a little one. They can lift enormous boats out of the water. The bottom is washed and the water is filtered and then the boats are set down to be worked on, all over the boatyard.

When my kids were little they had field trips from the school to the boatyard. My daughter’s class had a trip to see the crane because one of the parents works as a crane operator. All the second graders learning about the boatyard: fabulous.

The introverted thinker breaks the rules

My earliest memory is taste and proprioception.

I am outside in the yard. I am under three, because it is when we still lived in Knoxville, Tennessee. I am standing. I am not terribly steady and I am holding on to the pipe. I remember how the pipe feels, metal and a bit rusty and rough. The day is hot, but the metal is cool on my hands. I am drinking the water out of the top of a pipe that sticks up from the ground. Water pools in the top and I like it. It tastes of iron. I am not supposed to drink that water.

I lose my balance a little and bump hard against the pipe. My tooth breaks. Now my mouth tastes of blood and iron.

I don’t remember it hurting much and I am not scared. I am mostly annoyed and resigned. I think, I am going to get caught now, I can’t hide this.

This is me in the canoe and my parents, in the early 1960s. I don’t know who took the photograph.