Lines on a Fishing Pier By Kasra Omid-Zohoor

April 9, 2015 Comments Off on Lines on a Fishing Pier By Kasra Omid-Zohoor

“I had to get out of there, man.”

“I know.”

“She had issues.”

“Yeah, didn’t she like run away?”

“That’s what she told me.”

I said nothing as I stared out at the colored houses lined up along the beach like Christmas gifts.

“I’ll tell you this though, the crazier they are, the more stuff they’ll do, if you know what I mean.”

I let out a loud laugh, and Tower stretched out his hands on the pier rail. His fingers felt something so he looked down to see a rusty hook caught in the wood. “Looks like someone can’t cast.”

“Maybe they’re gonna come back for it later.”

“I doubt it.”

“Hey what do you think that guy’s catching?”

We looked inside the old fisherman’s bucket to see a fist-sized crab jostle up the wall then slide back down. The fisherman reached his wrinkled hand into his Styrofoam cooler, grabbed a piece of raw chicken, and tossed it onto the wood. From his pocket, he pulled out a knife and made slices into the meat without splitting the bones. Then he opened the wire cage, tied down the chicken, and locked it up. For a moment he paused, and then he lifted the trap and threw it down into the water.

Tower whispered to me, “All that work for one little crab?”

I smiled as we kept walking.

“So anyway, she said she didn’t want to have another one.”

“She had one before?”

“Yeah like in high school, but she said that it made her really sad.”

Suddenly we heard a girl scream ahead of us, and we could make out two brown wings flapping frantically. A pelican jerked up from the pier but seemed to hit an invisible ceiling and collapse back down. As we got closer, we could see the hook in the bird’s pouch and the line running to a pole in the little girl’s trembling hands. “What do I do?” she asked. “My Daddy’s in the bathroom!”

I turned to Tower, but he was looking back at me. Below, the planks started shaking, and we realized that it was the old fisherman running towards us. He lunged for the pelican, hugged it to his chest, and guided his hand to the hook. With one quick movement, he tore the hook out and opened his arms. The pelican cried out as it flew to the sea.

The girl’s father came running down the pier then lifted her up in his arms. She wiped her eyes on his sleeve as he looked over her shoulder and shouted thank you to the old fisherman who was already walking back to his catch. It seemed like a long time before Tower pushed his phone into my hand. “Does it look like me?”

I looked down at the picture and said, “No, I don’t think so.” The hair was different, but the eyes were the same.

© 2014 Kasra Omid-Zohoor

Kasra Omid-Zohoor is a writer living in San Francisco, California. In his younger years, he studied modern American literature at Stanford University. His work has been published in Thick Jam.

 

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