Nicotine & Coffee in CIC: recollection

— naval ship 1960-61

the Chief leans on the little counter with his elbow out from under which the hash marks of his time in show on his jacket’s sleeve, he stands leaning, left hip against the front of the counter with his left leg bent at the knee its calf crossing in front of the right so his left foot is to the right of his right perpendicular to the ground its toe planted on the floor heel up while everything rolls in gentle seas which is good because he holds a cup of hot coffee in the hand of the bent arm and resting elbow which sloshes as he adjusts that hand to the ships roll without thinking while he reaches up to draw a simultaneous cigarette from his lips with the fingers of the other, squinting, most of which scene is lost, cocked hat and all, in a nicotine cloud which glows as a borealis in the dark room of blue light of radar screens and the yellow of status board bulbs on a ship tuned to the scent of strong brew mixed with smoke and the punctuation of a chief or seaman’s laugh

Jim Culleny