Saturday, April 10, 2010
Yesterday I finally relented and tried chewing tobacco for the first (and last) time. The engineer offered me some Copenhagen and I decided that I might as well – they’ve been offering it to me for two weeks now. I tried the stuff not so much in the hope that my crew would think more highly of me, but simply so that in the future I’ll be able to say that I had tried it once, that it was indeed as nasty as I expected, and no thanks I don’t want any. Ever again. I took a tiny pinch the size of my thumbnail and kept it in my lip for about ten minutes, after we had hung the gear on our barge and were heading back to the dock to pick up our next barge and finish cargo there so we could leave. It wasn’t long before I felt awful and I was afraid I would be sick – I went weak in the knees and began to shake and sweat and had to take off my jacket even though it was very cold outside. But I only had a few minutes to recover before we were to climb up to the barge and start working again so I stubbornly refused to throw up, and somehow maintained my composure. My shipmates laughed but under it all, I’d like to think they may have been at least somewhat impressed.