Friday, August 18, 2017

A good night

You know what feels good? The twilight breeze down by the river. The sun has set and the sky is turning from orange to purple. The steel truss bridge is silhouetted against the sky. The hills are dark, but the river glows from the sky it reflects.

It’s so quiet there that you can feel the breeze better. You snap a pic of the bridge with your phone. A guy there fishing apologizes for ruining your picture. No problem, you say. He improved it. He looks at the picture and agrees.

He says his one-week vacation began when he left work today, and this is how he’s spending the first evening.

The M/V Jerry Tinkey passed a little while ago, but it’s paused upriver below the bend. He must be waiting for a boat to come down through the two curves above. Meanwhile, down the river you see another boat upbound. It looks like it’s pushing 15 empty coal barges. Then it must be a Crounse boat, you guess.

The sky darkens and the breeze continues, a fine counterbalance to a stressful work week and the realization that some things are changing. Like your favorite little girl is too old for toddler things now that she’s about to start pre-K. She’s conquered every climbing device on every playground in the city. Her mind went from age 4 to age 24 overnight, it seems. Way too soon.

Yes, it’s a Crounse boat. That distinct sound of the engines gives it away. Meanwhile, you see a boat coming around the bend up the river. It’s the boat the Jerry Tinkey has been waiting for. Because of its size and the fact it’s pushing some empty petroleum barges, you figure it’s one of Marathon’s canal boats. Or it could be the Catlettsburg.

But it’s 9 o’clock and it’s getting dark. Do they still put the chain across the floodwall gate at 10? You don’t know, and you sure don’t want your car stuck in here overnight. So you leave without learning what boat that is coming downriver.

It doesn’t matter. It’s still a good night.