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Child

Child

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Published by routraykhushboo

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Published by: routraykhushboo on Mar 26, 2011
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03/26/2011

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Copyright Karlene Kubat 2002 & 2010Careless ChildbyKarlene KubatI would I were a careless child,Still dwelling in my highland cave,Or roaming through the dusky wild,Or bounding o’er the dark blue wave;. . . .ByronIThe boat was rolling, reminding her of the smoothness ofNew Zealand’s enormous Interislander, Aratere, with its sixdecks, two of them for cars and cargo. Along with its sumptuouspleasures, she recalled the mesmerizing rumble, a gentle lullabyof sound easing passengers between the picture perfect littlefishing cove of Picton on the north end of South Island andblustery and blowing, hill-tucked Wellington on the south end ofNorth Island. The ferry she was on now, the Coho, was actuallytraveling from Port Angeles, Washington to the Inner Harbour ofVictoria on Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of BritishColumbia. The trip took nearly two hours, during which time shetried but failed to escape heavy thoughts, her weary eyes
 
 
Careless ChildKarlene Kubat - 2
transfixed on rough water and drizzling skies. For a time sheattempted to think of the in-betweeness of ferries, not even tothink of it but to reside in that place, in that arrested timewhere one forgot what they were: commercial vessels bearinglives from point to point in routine, leisurely, or regrettedpassages. In that captive pause they collaborated as aloof andgraceful engines of escape, gliding over the timeless waters.She mused that she could actually chart some of her life by theroutes of ferries, having so frequently crossed various placidand stormy waters of the miraculously hydrated planet.The misty cyan-blue hills over by Sooke Harbour rose andfell on the horizon as the port edged up into the sky thendropped back into the choppy Juan de Fuca Strait. The steadyroll hinted of malaise, assisted by an anxiety which she hopedto dispel at her familiar and unfailing destination.Was she far enough away yet? No, she would never get farenough away, unable to run from what was inside. Deliverancewas only from immediate disintegration not from the underlyingcause.
Why can’t I get it right? Why can’t I ever get itright?
Finally she had found something which made her fall intoa stillness without the echo of self-accusation. Then itscontinuance reached a startling impasse -- so untenable she hadto run simply to free herself from the fear of
having but having not
. “You liar. Liar!” echoed her impulsive and regretted cry,a flimsy accusation that a child might make. She remembered theendearing bronze hand reaching out, hesitating a moment thendropping back in a tight fist. “It doesn’t matter how far awayyou go, Kate. One day you’ll look up and there I’ll be,” hismessage later pursued her, the memory easily flaying her heart.It was perpetual misery to think of her accusation, herconfused conduct. It did not fit the moment that had engendered
 
 
Careless ChildKarlene Kubat - 3
it at all, and should really have been aimed at her own self-deception. The boat rolled sharply; she clenched her teeth in awave of nausea.
Just a short bit more and you’ll be in your room, your lovely walnut-paneled room, wrapping its comforting old history around another wrecked endeavor. Hang on. Hang on.
The long sleepless transport from down under, onserviceably proficient Air New Zealand, had imprisoned her withrecurring and undesirable memories, causing a relentless achemimicking that of a broken bone. Unpacking and repackinglightly in her Seattle apartment, she had hastily driven fromher misting city over to the Peninsula, headed for the PortAngeles ferry’s car lot, her body all rigid tension behind thewheel. She could have reached Victoria via the passenger-onlyjet boat from the downtown wharf; driving over to Port Angelessimply made her work at something.Finally disembarking the Coho, she took a taxi to the grandold Tudor guest house sprawling over its solid promontory -- aVictoria landmark which had become a restful home away fromhome. Nowadays home was any extended time in one place. Thepleasant and accommodating owner welcomed her as a familiarpatron and no more, respecting her wish for privacy. Here, sheoccasionally encountered the same people in the same generouslyappointed rooms, most of which, from various angles and levelsof the three stories, had a view of Juan de Fuca Strait and thesnowy Olympic Mountain Range across the restless waters inWashington. The ground floor walnut-wainscoted room, which washer refuge, faced out on the strait and the cloud-shroudedOlympic Range in full and spectacular panorama. It was afamiliar place in which she sometimes managed to heal herselfsufficiently for another foray, after covering a bruising war orfailing at a private existence; the personal encounters were

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