I wake at about 45 degrees. Head facing downhill, looking out across a bay. One of those winter mornings, grey and bleak. Boats huddled together at the dock, masts like a field of naked trees. I consider the world as it is, upside down, semi-hidden through my visible breath. Not altogether as bad as it could be.
I have something like thirty cents in my pocket, from the feel of it, enough for a soft serve ice cream and not much else. The irony kicks me in the ribs. I cough and roll over. During the night, my head will have filled with blood so I lie for a moment longer before rising for the cheap thrill of equilibrium. A few rowing crews glide past. Ridiculous boys in their blue singlets.
I find a phone box two blocks down the road. I put my hand into my pocket, mumbling a quiet prayer as I do so. I open my palm and smile. Forty linty cents. I put the money in the slot and dial the number.
Dad’s voice comes over the line, weary. “Whereabouts this time?”
“Not even a hello?”
My humour is met with dead static.
I cough. “I don’t really know. It looks like a fancy neighbourhood.”
“A fancy neighbourhood.”
I look out through the grimy plastic window. A pelican circles, with its rudder legs ready. “Probably. There’s a lot of boats.”
“There are a lot of boats.”
“You said there is a lot of boats, what you said made no sense.”
“Oh, right, sure. There are a lot of boats. There are also a harbour.”
I step out of the phone booth, zipping up my jacket. Maybe if I follow the water. Got to be going somewhere.