Found during my reading today as I sat alone at the Garage, my own sort of breaker’s yard:
Mr. Nevil had worked all over the world doing this, from Bangkok to Barking. Now he was sitting with me, remembering the harbors he had inhabited at one time or another, rolling a piece of blue chalk in his fingers, suddenly meditative.
It was, he murmured, a dangerous profession, of course. And it was painful to realize that nothing was permanent, not even an ocean liner … He had been there to help dismantle the Normandie — “the most beautiful ship ever built” — as it lay charred and half drowned in the Hudson River in America. “But somehow even that was beautiful … because in a breaker’s yard you discover anything can have a new life, be reborn as part of a car or railway carriage, or a shovel blade. You take that older life and you link it to a stranger.”
- Michael Ondaatje, The Cat’s Table.
Happy New Year.