Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Our Alaskan Cruise: A Fictional Photo Essay (Part 2 of 2)

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Our Alaskan Cruise: A Fictional Photo Essay (Part 2 of 2)

(Photos by Derek Wuenschirs. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.)

The band played all of our favourite songs. We watched from afar, cheered them on silently, clapped for their performance in our minds. We did not sit close because we did not want to spook them. They were all going to get free bowls of clam chowder out of this, at the end.

Finding the Animal Towel Folding Cycle for Cruise Day 1 to Day 7 was a revelation. The butterfly and the stingray had been unwelcome surprises after the first two afternoon turndowns, but now we were prepared.

The dining room awaited us with its only slightly creased linens and upside-down glasses. The chairs had wheels on them so we did not need to work unduly when pulling them out. The flowers were real—we pinched them to check.

The servers were kindhearted, but we had to wait in line behind this man, always. He could never make up his mind. He stood there with his hands in his pockets while the kindhearted server beckoned to us with a smile and sent us a telepathic message: I am here for you, and so are all manner of sweet treats. Eventually this man would decide, or we would kick his legs out from under him and stand on his chest to give our order, because we knew exactly what we wanted.

On the last night, the singing comedian’s comedy made us forget all of our troubles. He sang about the ship smashing into an iceberg, the hull breaking apart and the whole thing submerging, and all of us being too fat and complacent after a weeklong, 24-hour buffet to do anything about it but bob upon the icy waves before sinking to our icy deaths. His glasses were funny.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Jessica Westhead

Jessica Westhead's short stories have appeared in major literary journals in Canada and the United States. "Unique and Life-Changing Items," which appears in And Also Sharks, was shortlisted for the 2009 CBC Literary Awards. Her first novel, Pulpy & Midge, was nominated for the ReLit Award. Westhead lives in Toronto.

Go to Jessica Westhead’s Author Page