I can feel the wind on my face as I cast my line over the side of the boat. I can hear the distant splash of porpoises diving in and out of the crystal clear waves. But then suddenly I can feel a bite on the end of my line. As I start to pull the line in a can feel the tension rising before it inevitably snaps. If only the old man was here, he’d know what to do and how to pull the fish in correctly. I’m useless without him. I wonder if hes caught anything yet. He deserves a fish soon. eighty five days is too long for any man to go without a catch. Especially him.

It’s my first fishing trip without the old man. I don’t know if I’m ready yet. He has been with me since I was 5, it just won’t feel right without him. What if I need some more advice or forgot the right type of knot to tie? My new boat is full of people who laugh at the misfortune of others. The opposite of the old man.

I wonder what I’m having for lunch today. Or if it will be whatever we catch. I hope its vegetable curry again. Martin makes the best curry in town. ‘The taste is all thanks to my families recipe,’ is why it’s so good. Perhaps some rice alongside it. That would be perfect on a sunny day like this. Not a cloud in sight. That may be bad however as fish have no eyelids and stay deeper down in the water the sunnier it is. The old man knew all of the best fishing spots. For sunny days, stormy days and calm days.

I miss the stories he used to tell me to pass the time. They would always have an amazing ending and seemed to intrigue me for hours at a time.

‘It’s enormous!’ Looks like the guy behind me just caught something big. I wonder if he’ll ever stop going on about how he gets all the big fish and how he’s the best on the boat. Is this the kind of talk that replaces the old mans stories? Constant bragging. I hope I can one day go and fish with the old man again. Here come the sea gulls hoping for us to throw them the off cuts and carcasses of the fish. They are the peasants of the sea. Live off of others scraps instead of catching something for themselves. The old man always used to tell me how important it was to be your own man. ‘First you borrow. Then you beg.’ That’s what he used to say.

I can’t wait to get back to the docks and see if the old man has caught anything. I enjoy talking to him. Sometimes we just sit watching the waves and talk for hours at a time. We talk about new fishing techniques, baseball and local gossip. Apparently someone caught a black Marlin recently! It took three people a whole day to bring it in. I don’t think I could ever catch a fish like that. Not even with two other men. I wonder if the old man has ever caught a fish like that.

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