A Fisherman’s Tale
Once when I was fishing I fell overboard when hauling on a line - I was terrified as I bobbed slowly to the surface of the freezing numbing cold water in my heavy clothes and boots which I couldn’t seem to kick off.
When I surfaced I saw my tiny boat upside down in the waves and knew I had no chance of turning it over. My major muscles were already going into agonizing spasms of cramp and I knew that I was almost certainly going to be dead in about three - maybe four minutes. All fishermen know the deal even if they don’t much like to talk about it.
I was in hell. Every limb and portion of me wracked with pain and fear. I was also choking on brine and vomiting uncontrollably. I started to trip out a bit, felt like I was melting or something - weird shit was happening and I knew I was dying. The glimpse of strange bliss disappeared and I felt the worst feelings I had ever known.
And then - a hand grabbed my back and hauled me into a small boat.
When I came round I was wrapped in blankets - and he was rubbing my feet. When he saw my groggy eye open he laughed heartily and passed me a bottle of cognac - “You’re some fuckin’ lucky - boy!” he laughed and soon I was laughing with him.
Lagos and I became inseparable buddies from that day on - I owed him my life! My very life! But every time I tried to thank him he just took the piss and pretended it was all a great joke.
I would have cut my arm off for that man and loved him more dearly - with more warmth and fullness than I have ever loved another person in this world.
Naturally I regarded his nautical skills as almost supernaturally advanced and hero-worshipped him as a type of ideal man, hiding his many fine qualities under a bluff and blokey front. If I ever introduced him to people as “The Man Who Saved My Life” then he would always call me “Mr Flotsam” or some such thing. Always avoiding praise and meeting any kind of flattery with his rich and original sense of humor.
Once I was out in my boat alone - without Lagos for once and I’d grabbed a local newspaper along with a few snacks and shoved them into a carrier-bag for the journey. It was a beautiful sea so once I was out past Tater Du a bit I just sat and drifted, watching the ganets, or ’bomb-birds’ - as my daughter likes to call them.
I had a couple of bananas and a drink of juice and settled down to read the local paper - the notoriously dull Penwithershins Gazette.
Local Man Leigh Goss Taken Into Custody On Heroin - Prostitution And Human-Trafficking Charges After Assault On Two Women -
Mr Goss (44) a fisherman from New Lynsmouth, will appear before Trewrew Magistrates on Monday following the discovery of several teenaged refugees at his remote country home in Trewither. Almost an ounce of heroin was also removed along with several sets of shackles. Two women had to be hospitalized following the incident which eventually resulted in armed police surrounding the house. More details will be released after the initial Hearing at Trewrew Court of Justice.
I looked at the waves so dark and cold, pulling me down again. My stomach cramped up like I’d been punched and I vomited over the picture of Lagos.
My head was spinning as again I stared into the dark boiling waves - Oh God! What now! What now?