She was a decrepit, failed restaurant venture, tethered in disgrace at the end of the Deepie but that night was the pinnacle of the old whalechaser’s career as an eatery.
We weren’t supposed to be there, something about asbestos and
public liability but my father was the caretaker, so ... there we were.
glowed in the jarrah-lined innards and a strange, longhaired man played
guitar on the iron stairs. Cast iron cauldrons of dahl and rice sat
steaming on tables beside huge mounds of baked salmon covered in lemon
and strips of bacon.
Dad wanted to introduce his daughters to the woman he would marry. Together, they’d put on a feast.
My guests; my silent beau and the ancient, drunken Scot, were the escape plan if things got too strange.
slid into red velvet booths, shared green ginger wine, peeled away
silvery salmon skin, and broke flakes of juicy flesh from the bone with
our fingers. The taste of bittersweet iron made my teeth hurt.
Hector finally succumbed to his Drambuie on the booth seat, (crumpled
kilt, legs askew, it was not pretty) Julian and I climbed back out into the
clean night air and stood together on deck.
Under the full moon, yachts
flew like white moths across the harbour on their annual autumn