A locker door crashed beside my head, waking me from a rum-soaked sleep. I tried to hide under my pillow. The door crashed six or eight more times; "Wakey-wakey, Sweetman!" Casey yelled.
Snappings and poppings went off in my head, my ears hissed and my mouth tasted like puke. "Go away," I moaned. "Please!"
"Here, Sugar, this'll cure you." He rubbed rum onto my lips with his finger.
I violently turned my face away but couldn't escape. Even in the depths of my hangover I considered sucking on that finger. So stupid not to have done that.
I fumbled out of my bunk and landed stiffly on the deck, groaning like an arthritic old man. Something was different; the ship wasn't moving. "Where are we?" I croaked.
"Vancouver, where the fuck d'you think we are? C'mon, let's go ashore." He jabbed my ribs. "Maybe we'll both get lucky."
I could only hope. "Our kind of lucky I can do without, thanks anyway."
"Aw, forget Frisco. The only problem we're gonna have here is not bein' able to drink everythin' put in front of us."
"Yeah? Stay outta bathrooms then." I dodged his fist.
"Heeere, m'deeeer," he said. "Have a little drink." And the rest of the night was a kind of a blur.
We ended up in a cavernous tavern with booths along the sides and tables in the middle. The noise was deafening; half the fleet must have been in there. We waved at some men from our ship and some we knew from other ships and Casey saw an old classmate from up-island and I hooked onto a wide-eyed kid from the Ste. Therese who was standing there nervously in his just-ironed uniform, not knowing anyone. He said he was from Lundar, Manitoba. His hair shone gold, like the wheat on his father's farm, and he trusted me.
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