Last night was different, but not better. I got up on accident at 0300, not 0600, and my feet were too cold to let me get back to sleep. I guess I kind of did anyhow, and then at 0800 Dad or maybe Micah came in and said, “Breakfast’s ready”. So I had some and then, with my last remaining energy, asked if there was a free bed inside. Then I crawled into the bottom bunk and slept until noon. From time to time people looked at me incredulously and said, “Still asleep?”
I replaced my afternoon fishing trip with a look deep into Erin’s mind: I spent a few hours looking at all the drawings she does and listening to her explain them. Erin draws a lot, and she brought her sketchbook here. She has all kinds of strange cartoons about, say, characters from a video game coming to life as high-school students, or someone catching a cold that makes them transform into a different thing each time they sneeze. It’s very crazy. She uses an anime style. I’ve never really liked anime as a style. Nonetheless I thought it was pretty good, at least an accurate portrayal of whatever’s going on up there in her mind. I also showed her some of my own stuff in my journal, like the cartoon on page 146, and she thought it was funny. I mentioned I’d spent an hour and a half on my entry last night and everyone in the cabin wanted to know what could possibly take an hour and a half to describe, so I got to read the whole thing aloud. Afterwards Erin cruised through the journal looking for references to herself. She’ll have a bonanza with tonight’s entry.
All that was fun and all, but I was really ready to get outside and on another boat out on the lake. I saw Dad getting ready to leave and got in with him. We planned to check out the area around the trailhead of the Whiteshell portage, because the two guys there yesterday said they always find a lot of lures there on the rocks, so it must be a good place. We stopped at a little cove on the way, and then another and then one more. We stayed at that one and never made it to the portage. It was a very quiet, secluded cove, fringed with wild rice. Dad took out one fish after another. It was frustrating, because I couldn’t seem to catch any. After he got four or five I finally did pull one pike out, and before that I caught two walleye (one of them pretty nice-sized), so it was okay. I like that place. Maybe if I have a halfway decent fishing day there, it can be Chuck’s Cove.
When we decided we had enough fish we drove back. Up at the cabins, Aunt Irene said we’d probably like to see this, and she and Grandma led us a little ways up the road behind Cabin 6. They pointed our attention to the road. There in the sand were the distinctive tracks of a bear. Irene had actually seen it loaf across camp a little earlier.
A couple minutes later I was sitting in Cabin 5 and Irene, outside the door, started pointing and in a panicky voice saying, “Bear… bear…” Contrary to what would’ve been smart, everyone went outside to see if they could see it. Dan and Dad and a few people followed after it and I followed after them. It was a flurry of activity and everyone was pointing to where the bear was, but I couldn’t see it. Then everyone said, “Oh, there it goes, it’s walking away,” and I still didn’t see it. And it was gone. I was really disappointed.
A little later dinner was ready. Pretty much the same as last night, but with some latkes thrown in. We made a few latke jokes. After dinner poker got started. Everone was issued $3.00 –but I only wanted two!– and we played. My luck wasn’t much better than last night. I still didn’t win a hand for about half an hour, and then they switched to In-Between just a few hands later. In-Between has not redeemed itself for me yet. I watched my stack of chips magically shrink. I only stayed in through the grace of a “good-boy dollar” Grandpa gave me. And then just barely.
For some reason, about ten minutes in Micah took my hat. I gave him a quick and by his own admission painless punch on the top of the head and took it back. Then he went to take it again, and I blocked his hand, and somehow his face got into it because I accidentally hit him in the jaw with my elbow. Grandpa got up and cashed in his chips like he just couldn’t take any more of the violence. He acted like we’d been kicking each other in the face on top of the table. Then Dan told us both to get out of the porch and swore at us. I hadn’t done anything a normal person wouldn’t do, and all Micah had done was steal my hat and get elbowed in the jaw, but we still both got kicked out like we’d been having a brawl. I think that’s just crap. When we got back to our cabin I called Micah a piece of crap and it felt good. Then I took a little walk down at the dock in the dark. I could barely see anything. The sky has been cloudy all day.
When I got back Dad was finished with the chapter of my book he was reading and gave it to me. Grandma came in with some hot chocolate she’d offered to make us while we were still playing poker. It was top-notch hot chocolate; I drank that and read my book and explained to Micah why it’d actually been neither of our faults, but Dan’s for acting like such a jerkoff, and he went to sleep as I read.
Now I’m going to go to bed. It is pretty late. Crowduck entries are pretty time-consuming.