“Little beige row boat slammed into the beach in front of the Power cabin during the great flood of ’17, chief. It was coming from the other side of the lake, just beyond the narrows, after the storm. The thunder storm.
One tall man went into the water. One tall man came back for the lifejacket and swimmer shoes.
Vessel came aground in twelve minutes.
Didn’t see the algae for about the first half an hour. Green. Sticky stuff. You know, you know that when you’re in the water, chief? You tell by lookin’ in the water and then at your clothes. Well, we didn’t know. ‘Cause our storm had been so secret, didn’t even make the weather channel. Huh, huh. Local news didn’t even list the rain accumulation for a week.
Early evening, right, chief. The stink blows. So that tall man formed himself into his swimming gear, cruisin’ in his life vest. Still kept his tee-shirt on. You know it’s…kinda like ‘ol vendetta, like I gotta get rid of this stinking row boat. It’s not ours. And the idea was, the algae’ll just wash off. So he starts hollerin’ and screamin’ and sometimes with a good washcloth, the algae would go away. Sometimes, in the crack of his bum, it wouldn’t go away. Sometimes, that algae, it just sticks. Gets right into your eyes.
You know the thing about that row boat…it don’t care about the algae. When it comes back onto the beach, it just sits there, bobbing in the waves. Seems to be a livin’ thing. Until you gotta get back into the water, with the green algae.
And then, ah then, you hear the moans and groans and the lake turns green in spite of all those good intentions.
Y’know by the end of that first day, the little row boat came back. I don’t know how many times the tall man cleaned, maybe once. I don’t know about the little groves and cracks, algae gets everywhere.
By the next weekend, chief, the rowboat bobbed over the reeds. The ones lining the front of the beach. Tall stuff, green, healthy. They keep the beach clear. I thought they were great. The damn things cut! Reached over to grab one to steady myself and sliced my palm.
Noon the next weekend, Mr. Hooper, that beige little bastard of a rowboat was back again. I swear to God, if I gotta get back in that lake to drag the fucker out. I need an anchor. Water level had gone done and managed to get the last pieces of the dock in. Everyone says they hadn’t seen a storm like that in the last twenty years. I called bull-shit to that, Mr. Hooper. Anyway the storm came and the storm went. Thunder and lightening lit the sky.
And by the next day, that little beige rowboat had been picked up by a passing boater. You know that time when you wonder, do they own it or are they just stealing the damned thing. An opportunity like. That was the time I was most frightened. Waiting to see if they would just bring it back.
I’ll never swim with algae again.
So, one tall man gets into the lake. All to take one small dory back out to the middle, so anyone could have taken ‘er, August 2017. Anyway, that was the storm.
Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain."