Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The clouds that roll into the channel from the Atlantic are ominous. I'm on the top deck of the ferry, chain smoking and drinking wine to keep warm. It's -2 degrees up here, but it's better than being inside the guts of this floating retirement village / food court. I find a spot behind the glass wall, and I sit on my backpack and smoke and the sun sets somewhere behind this monstrous grey cloud in the sky, which stretches over the horizon and moves with fanatic conviction toward the coast of England. The centre of it is thick with battle. On the edges sparse skeletal fantasms float beside the storm, and I wonder if they are victims, tossed aside, or demons, who herd the storm across the seas and keep it tight, keep it condensed, keep it vicious. Below this sky, miles from our ferry, I see the lights of tanker ships braving the waters below the war and I take a slug of wine from my plastic cup and silently salute. I try not to turn and look at England. I try to stay focused on what is ahead. We text, from time to time. But as I approach Calais, my mind turns to the job at hand. My connecting train to Paris, which leaves in an hour and a half. I don't see a problem. My ticket says Calais. The ferry arrives at Calais.

I am certain I can get to the train station in an hour and a half.

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