for dream ginger – Dec 2010

Editor’s Note: Following is a page from my spiritual journal.

 FOR DREAM GINGER

Previously: Urged by a dream character, Ginger, Frances tells a story. It is 1960. She is fifteen and seeing Bob, for the first time that year. He is her “summer boyfriend” and lives in Phoenix the rest of the year. Bob has taken her to “say hello” to his folks. They are sitting in the living room of The Lake cottage, talking to his dad.

Bob shifted in his chair.

“What are you kids going to do this evening?”

I glanced at Bob who had not mentioned further plans. He said nothing and I answered, “I’m not sure.”

Mr. McGruder said, “It’ll be light for at least another hour. Bob, why not take Fritzie for a boat ride? The Century is gassed up.”

Bob shot me a questioning look.

“That’d be nice,” I answered.

Leaving the cottage on the lake behind, we crossed the road to the boathouse on a channel. We walked several yards and stopped at a door. As Bob sorted his keys and unlocked it, I gazed at the building. It looked like a two-stall garage, except there was no wide door for a car to enter.

Bob pushed open the side entry. He stepped onto a long cement dock and flipped a light switch as I followed him. A shiny wood inboard floated in a watery bay, half-hitched to poles in the dock. The speedboat had a barrel-like back that housed the engine. Like a convertible, a steering wheel was behind the windshield, but on the right side of the bench seat. There was a back seat, too, both were upholstered in a smooth leathery red.

“Just a minute,” Bob said and took two long steps to a looped cord hanging against the channel-side wall. He pulled one side of the cord and the boathouse’s channel door rose to rest overhead. He returned to me. “I’ll just open the engine’s hatch. It’s a safety thing. I don’t want to start the engine with gasoline fumes in there.”

In a smooth cat-like movement, he leapt onto the back seat. The inboard rocked in response. Ignoring the movement, Bob climbed onto its rounded wood stern and opened two cupboard-like doors. After stepping back onto the rear seat, he eased over a ridge onto the front seat and slid into driving position. He turned the key, and at the same time moved a chrome gas lever at the wheel’s center. ‘Ba- ROOM…boot, boot, boot…” I giggled at the engine’s roar and throaty gurgle.

Grinning, Bob returned to the hatch, closed the doors and stood on the back floor. He lifted a hand up to me. “I’ll help you in.”

Thankful I was wearing my white no-slip Keds, I took his hand, and stepped on a rubber runner on the boat’s gunwale. I jumped down to the floor. Bob went to the front tie up pole and I stepped up on the rear seat and leaned out to loose the back tie-up. I turned to the front, slid over the seatback and down onto the front. “OK!”

Grasping the shiny chrome gear shift poking through the floor boards, Bob reversed the engine and we glided into the calm channel. The exhaust burbled. He shifted and idled through the channel to the open lake.

Once out of the channel, he cut the power and reversed the engine again to clear any weeds the propeller might have caught. He put the inboard in forward again. It was near the longest day of the year and still light near 8:00. When we were out in open water, Bob smiled at me. “Shall I open ‘er up?”

I grinned. “Yeah!”

He pushed the gas lever to his right and the Century seemed to jump onto the water. We laughed as spray from the prow splashed alongside, adding a continual “whoosh” to the baritone exhaust now in full song.

No words. All feeling.

Joy!

Thank you, Dream Ginger!

It was a good story. By telling it, I gained a better understanding of the bond Bob and I shared long ago. More than that, I experienced a moment of delight.

 

 Frances Fritzie

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