Fisherman

The little bloat slowly appeared on the horizon. The air was heavy and foggy, the rain was dripping and the sun was setting. The clouds distand white clouds had an orange glow. Far away, beyond the horizon, the weather was charming.

The man on the boat was visible now. He was wearing a white shirt, which was already greenish brown from all the fish and dirt. His favorite hat was sitting ajar on the top of his grizzled head. Jack was slowly rowing, not minding the rain which was becoming more and more violent. The sun had already set when he reached the small town port. Jack parked the boat on his favorite spot and tied it to the wooden column. The he preceeded to unloading the boat. Not like there was much to unload. There were no signs of fish the whole day, so Jack took his fishing equipment, including a small brown box he was always carrying around, just in case. Holding all this in his hands, he then realized that it was raining, so he put them down again, put on his worn out coat which was hidden in a secret compartment, not to get wet, and put it on. The hat was soaked with rain, but Jack didn’t mind. He had a distant feeling that something had changed, but he couldn’t understand – was it him? Or had something around him changed? But how could everything change in one short day?

As he said goodnight to the janitor, who was snoaring heavily, Jack thought of his wife. What will she say when she sees that her husband hasn’t brought back any food, though he promised he wouldn’t leave them hungry for yet another day. They had bread and cheese, but the kids wanted something to satisfy their childish food craving. They wanted real food.

Jack walked slowly. He was strolling. He wasn’t ready to face his wife. He loved her, but he was started to feel afraid of her. Afraid of the image of himself he saw in her eyes. The image of a poor, worn out man, who had lost his price and pride.

Halfway through the road to his house, he discovered in himself a strange excitement. The excitement he had missed so greatly – the excitement of strolling in the rain. Something so simple, yet so inspirational for a person like Jack.

He smiled slightly and went on. As he saw the door of his house, so identical to all the other doors in a long row, yet so familiar he could find it even when blindfolded. The lights of his house were out, so he decided to sneak in. But he had no key. He sighed, stood in front of the dark wooden door for a few minutes, and touched the handle. The door opened. His was was a smart girl, she knew he would be late, and that he would forget the key, so she left the door open and went to sleep.Yet again, his wife outsmarted him. Before Jack left the house in the morning, as she was ironing the children’s shirts, she told him it was a bad day to go out, that there would be no fish so maybe Jack could buy it instead of catching it. They had to have a little money saved up.  But Jack refused. He knew the weather was was going to be bad, but he was determined to catch the fish. Besides, their “just in case” money was no longer. He had to pay a debt he was very ashamed of, so it was gone, but the wife knew nothing.

Jack silently put the equipment on the floor, put the soaked hat on the coathanger, took of his coat and hanged it as well. The small box was still in his hands. He looked up the stairs. There was no noise. His wife and children were asleep, but he wasn’t in the mood of sleep.

Jack tiptoed to a small room which was adjacent to the living room. The living room was cluttered with toys and clothes, so he had to be careful not to step on anything and make noise.

He went into the room. The room which used to be his cabinet. It still was, but he didn’t use it a lot. The writing table, a lamp, a bookcase and a chair. It was still there, unmoved for years. But the room now was filled with used and unneeded things. Old oil lamps, a broken television, old toys and so on. Jack moved away a broken chair and sat on his good chair. He put the box on the table, next to an open notebook. The notebook was blank. It was new, as was the pen and ink next to it. There weren’t new, but he bought them years ago and never once used them. The pen was the last thing he bought exquisitely for himself.

Jack lit a cigarette and sat in silence. There was only the sound of rain dripping on the concrete outside. The windows were blurred from the raindrops, so there wasn’t much to see outside, but still Jack’s stare was firm on the windows.

He remembered. Remembered how he used to love the rain because he took up fishing. Walking in the rain was his favorite thing to do when he wanted something to inspire him. It was during rain that he had written his best essays and short stories. Maybe it was because everything is calmer in the rain. There are no people outside, like that very night. The streets are empty and silent. It silence of the dripping rain is overwhelming.

But Jack couldn’t write any more. His wife was against it. She said it wouldn’t bring enough money into the house, especially when she was pregnant with the second child. Jack knew she was right. His wife, too, had dreams and goals, but not everything is possible in a world were getting a job is as hard for a young man as it would be for an old hag. So Jack gave up writing. He didn’t blame anyone for this loss, only the world. He started fishing for food and money. At first it wasn’t easy, but the he became better and better. Fishing was natural to him now. If he called himself a writer before, now he called himself a fisherman. But that night, he was a writer again. Something had clicked in him. He had seen the rain many times. IT had rained many times when he was out in the sea fishing, but never once had he felt so strange and good.

Jack lit out a cigarette and looked at blank page of his pen. It looked so seducing, so forbidden. He felt like if he touched it, it would forever change the way things were. The way he had gotten used to life. The sound of rain, the sleeping wife and children upstairs, the provoking thoughts in his head made him vulnerable. For a long time Jack knew he missed something. This something used to fill his life before. How had he forgotten. How could he not think about it every day.

-It is never too late – Jack told himself and picked up the pen.

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