Sunday, October 12, 2008

The angler

My grandfather shook the sleep of me early in the morning. It had rained all in night like it does every fall and the fish were rubbing the surface of the sea with their backs. Maybe they were anticipating the whole earth filling to the brim and free for them to move around in.

We were to go fishing. My grandfather was not an avid fisherman , but he felt like a man should feel avid about something. I was unimpressed with the notion, however cynicism is the broth in which adolescence floats about.

We made our way down the slick cobblestone street that spanned the little town. We passed an angler. He was old, maybe as old as my grandfather, but the heavy wind of the sea and a life of plunging his hands into the slit bellies of fish had made his face worn, his eyes sunken, and his nails black and thick. The thick rubber pants were caked with dirt and his dense old sweater was soaked through. We looked passed him and down to the docks, which were normally lined with greyed fishing boats. The storm had found it's way into the dock and had thrown many boats into the dock and onto the large rocks on the bay. Men were hoisting buckets of out of flooded fishing vessels or scavenging what they could from wooden carcasses on the shore.

I noticed the angler was carrying a bag on his and a placard that had likely been on the rear of his lost boat that said "Betty." Most men's livelihoods were bound to the health of their ships.
"We're going fishing!" I smiled at the angler, who was glancing our way.
"I don't think he gives a shit," my grandfather muttered.

I caught nothing that day.

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