The man had caught the ferry at Edmonds, simply paid the fare and walked on. It was the first ferry of the morning, and nearly deserted. All the traffic flowed eastward into Seattle and Tacoma in the morning. He climbed to the second floor and moved forward as the boat moved out into the Sound. The boat rolled slowly. It was too bright inside the ferry, buzzing bright with fluorescent lights. He squinted against the leprous white and wiped at the grit in the corners of his eyes. There was sand in his mouth, between his teeth.
Outside the air was fresher and the light was better. The clouds were scattered, and the sun was rising behind him. The shadow of the command deck fell across the twin juts that hung over the few cars below. He moved to the very end of the platform to stand in the sunlight. He watched it glittering on the weeds and the water. A gull swooped back and forth in front of him, wings still. He had a sandwich in his pocket that he’d stolen from a gas station, an egg-salad sandwich, wrapped in cellophane. He tore a piece from it and threw it to the side of the ferry where the gull was. The gull shrieked and snatched the bread from the air. He laughed and spread his arms wide, leaned into the wind, and shrieked back at the gull.
His bones hurt and the cold tore at him but the sun was rising in summer and the Olympic Peninsula was blue and green and the mountains were growing larger.