I’m just watching. It’s all I want to do right now.
The jetty is warm.
The fisher people are patient, they move in and out of all the rooms of the evening. They are on the jetty looking for squid. One man handles his rod as if it is a pencil. He only needs one hand, light, delicate. He writes on the water. He leans over, frowning, as if looking for mistakes.
There is a child who is running in circles with a green bucket. The father says, ‘Here, bring it back.’ The mother continues to hold the line, staring downwards. She is wearing raspberry coloured sports shoes. She is blown about, swaying, and looking downwards, into the water, looking for signs in the green, green water, wondering how to improve things.
One man sits in a chair. He wears shorts, a singlet and rubber boots. He says, ‘Away then, away then, come on you.’ The next man is motionless.
The child is chasing seagulls. They hop backwards, an inch, another inch. She is so fast; they must hop back…two inches this time, hop, hop, and then they tilt their heads. She stretches and dips. Maybe she will put a seagull in her bucket. But she can’t, her father is calling and calling, ‘Here…. where’s me bucket…?’
The jetty is warm.
My family land a squid and it releases its life, in ink. Heads turn. Heads nod.
They are going for green tonight. They only want the green jigs. The information is passed on.
The sun settles, depressed, smoky. It can’t get clean. The eyes of the squid are wet emeralds, soft and gone. More fisher people pass us, heading for a place on the jetty, finding it, a precise place, a warm spot that works for them. They stop to prepare fishing rods, put down a plastic bucket and kneel to the sun.
My family land another squid; it releases another finale, across the jetty, ink, fire, a catastrophe, whatever. The running child with the green bucket pauses, glances across the stain, reads it, moves on, calls back, ‘Got it’. She runs and leaps, entirely alive.
I am only watching.