The Carpet-Bag, or Chapter Two

by Buxton Brown

Remember how I said I’d try to keep up with this thing? Fail. But not completely. Three weeks later, here I am. I have progressed quite a few chapters in my reading, but clearly not at all in my ongoing shitty book report.

Saturday in December. In New Bedford, Connecticut. Cold, rainy, and miserable. Have you ever trudged through a New England winter? Admittedly there are worse, but a proper New England winter can suck the life out of you and then have the gall to tell you that you owe it money.

Ishmael gives us the low down on the whaling game in town, how New Bedford is now the spot. Nantucket was hot, and to give them their due, they were some of the first anglo-whale clubbers in town. But now the trade has moved to New Bedford, and Ishmael is trying to get. that. nut. The adventure nut I mean. Packed up his “carpet bag” and just strolled into town.

Through these musings, I’m starting to gather that this Ishmael fellow is well educated, or at least well read… maybe just well informed. But he’s clever no doubt. He compares Nantucket to “-the Tyre of Carthage;- the place where the first dead American whale was stranded.”

I don’t know what the Tyre of Carthage is, but I’d like Hans Zimmer to score it. Russel Crowe can come too if he wants.

I’d like to reiterate the gross potential for abandonment and failure of this silly project. I have chosen one of the most celebrated and dissected American classics. My only solace comes from knowing that very few, if any, will read this. Sigh. If you think I’m sniffing glue, I’m not. I tried it once as a teenager, and though it can be effective as any drug could ever hope to be, that ship has gracefully sailed off into the sticky night.

There it is for you. Connecticut. Cold and shitty in the winter. Next.