Ch. 6, The Street (is where you find the good stuff)

by Buxton Brown

Ah the diversity of a whaling town in the 19th century. Cannibals, heathens, savages, white men, dark men, whalers, and I can only assume the occasional lady of the night to compliment the sole, lonely lady boy for the whaler of peculiar need. I imagine that a life spent at sea with no company except that of surly whaler men, drunk and over crowded, malnourished and malcontent, will no doubt breed the most unusual sort of fantasies and fetishes amongst the crew.

“And the women of New Bedford, they bloom like their own red roses. But roses only bloom in summer; whereas the fine carnation of their cheeks is perennial as sunlight in the seventh heavens.”

Something tells me Ishmael (Hermano Melville) knows a thing or two about loneliness and the subsequent reacquaintance with the fairer sex. Go team. Ishmael gives us a little preview of the sort of folk that populate New Bedford. Boring. Where’s the whale? What about the one-legged madman, hell-bent on destroying said whale? Where’s the boat? Why are we still in town? I’m getting impatient. Let’s go club some whales! Next.