Tomorrow morning at 6 am, my beloved stepdad, Michael, is going in for a triple bypass surgery. In some regards, I feel like I've been through this all before. In September, my dad was at the same hospital for an aortic transplant. I'm lucky to have tomorrow off, I'm going up there to sit and knit with mom and keep her company during the surgery. Please, in your own way, be it prayer, good vibes, or healing thoughts, please keep him in your mind in the next week as he undergoes and then heals from this.
Ok, big heavy stuff done.
I'm now working nights. Yesterday was my first shift working 1:30-10pm. It was ok, I guess. I didn't "hull out" the boat, which means you land too fast, and the hull slams into the ramp. That's bad. I've been hulling out at least once a day. Didn't at all yesterday. I'm also working with someone new, which is a nice change. I worked well with R for the last two weeks, but I really held my tongue a lot on politics, lifestyle, religion, etc. I think B aligns himself along the same lines as R, but he's just a bit more easygoing in the right way. He's older, and he's old-school, I think he was impressed that a girl could do this. But I drove all night, no problems.
Driving in the dark is so strange. The way you hit the landings every time is by finding a point of reference. For me, when the orange pole thingies on the boat cross the inside edge of a particular post on shore, I know to slow down, throw it in reverse. It's damn hard to see that post on shore in the dark! You actually can see it, there's enough light from the one street light, but you're coming in, and you're thinking you should see it by now, and you don't...and you still don't...and you're worrying that you can't see it and you won't see it and you'll hull out and slam the hell out of the landing....and then you see it and you're fine! phew! And then, once you've slowed down, and you're nosing into the ramp at the very end, it's almost impossible to get your perspective right as to whether you're 5 feet from the ramp or 5 inches. It's certainly a new experience, and something to get used to.
My mom, and a few others, have worried about me being out there "all alone" late at night. In reality, mother-worry aside, it feels really safe. And I'm saying that as someone who's lived in crappy rough neighborhoods in DC. The roads approaching the boat on both sides are long and straight, so you can see cars coming, from their headlights. You know who's hanging out on the shore cause they've either got lights or making noise or something. A very VERY weird guy (utter lack of social skills, won't stop talking loudly, gets very in your face and animated--we've all met people like that) from a security company comes and gets all of the money at one point, so we don't really have anything to steal. Plus--mom, read this part over a few times--in the entire history of the boat, nothing has happened. Nobody has been robbed or hurt or ANYTHING. It feels safe. It's eerie as hell, especially once you've cut the engine. Suddenly there's a swell of noise from the crickets and owls and creatures, and not the roar of the turbines. And walking up the ramp to the car, out of the circle of light from the streetlight, it's suddenly dark, darker than you've seen in a long time. It's really great, actually. It reminds me of being a kid and going camping, and stepping out of the circle of light from the campfire, and really feeling the darkness.
I had another visitor this week, Michael and his sister, my auntie Jane (you have to pronounce it ahhhntie, the New England way, since she's from Rhode Island) came up for a look around the ferry. Jane snapped this cute picture of the boat and me: