ishmael and so on

January 3, 2006




It's snowing. KOBO's bones still smell of whale oil. The sperm whale is finally fully rearticulated and on display upstairs in its naked, bony entirety. Having waited out the worst of the storm at my house glued to the weather forecasts on NECN, we've missed "Call me Ishmael" and haven't learned whether the new mayor can pronounce Leviathan. I see from the schedule he read before former mayor Kalisz. Must be a status thing.

As the assembled Moby Dick pilgrims cross the street to the Seamen's Bethel for the sermon, we stay behind and watch some museum visitors touring the Lagoda. One of them says "The whalemen must have been shorter in those days." We all look at him and say "It's a half scale model ship! It would be manned by half size whalemen and chasing half size whales." The mental image of half size ships chasing half size whales on a full size sea cracks me up. I burst out laughing. So do the folks moving the sound system and the chairs to the Jacobs Gallery for the next chapters. The sea is so vast and my boat so small, indeed.

Settled in the Jacobs Gallery listening to Captain Peleg and Captain Bildad doing their good cop bad cop thing negotiating the lowest possible lay for Ishmael I slide into the story for the next few hours. Nancy and I take a short break to get a sandwich at the place that's where the Java Jungle used to be only to discover an empty storefront. The wet northeast wind with residual sideways snowflakes gets inside my jacket as we trek the cobblestoned streets in search of the Green Bean, which is cozy against the cold and gathering darkness and does have sandwiches. Good sandwiches. And a nice hot chai to ward off the northeast windchill.

Back at the reading we run into Julie's friend Anthea who's here for the first time -- having heard us talk it up at every opportunity.... gotta get Tom & Julie to come next year. She's signed up to read as a standby. Miraculously she gets called. More standbys are getting to read this time 'cause some people are unable to get here because of the storm.

It 's dark. The snow has changed back to rain and the cobblestones outside glisten in the streetlights. At some point I hear Nancy snoring and wake her up. We decide to go back to Providence and sleep some so we can be fresh for the last third. Definitelly want to be awake for the chase.


Today's Reading
Moby Dick
by Herman Melville

This Year's Reading
2006 Booklist

Last Year's Reading
2005 Booklist




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Copyright © 2006, Janet I. Egan