Y’should have seen it, kid. There I was, far from the shores of Cape May. I was in a little boat of my own, one that my father had owned. It was nothing to be proud of, but it got me out on the water – that I know. One of those summer day’s, with little cares and nowhere to be, I set anchor off into the ocean’s deep. This was the time to be out there, let me tell y’. It made for some great fishing. Diving too. I did a lot of diving back in the day.
…Have y’ ever been out that way, down to South Jersey? There’s a lot of interesting history out that way. Lots of sea wreckage off the coast. It makes for some prime diving – lots of treasures to be had. By treasures I mean a load of junk and scrap of sunken ships and collector’s trash, but it’s something worth seeing…
Once I set my anchor, I threw myself over the side of that boat and started for the floor. Y’should have seen me, young and spry, pressing my weight thr’gh the ocean and making ground. There was a lot to see beneath the water – treasure – but I was out fishing this day. Fishing out that way, y’know, underwater, was pretty tough. The water was just too damn murky. If I held my hand out at arms length I might as well have damn lost it. There wasn’t much light getting thr’gh that pollution. It’s even worse nowadays – sad state of affairs it is.
…Y’know how y’know the weather is right for fishing out in Cape May? When the bars and restaurants are empty! All the folks are out on their boats, pressing outwards into the ocean searching for their next meal ticket…
But goddamn if it didn’t make for hard fishing that day. I had my spear with me, trudging underwater and shanking whatever Flukes I could find. I caught me a good amount that day too. Wrapped ’em up in some fishing line – speared, hooked, and threaded – tied ’em right on at the waist.
But y’wouldn’t believe it — I made my way towards the surface, swimming up and ready to breach like a damned porpoise, plop myself and my newfound Flukes into the boat. Suddenly, out of nowhere, as I was heaving myself over the ledge of my boat, I felt an immense tugging at the side of my hip. There I looked down – AH! – there were my Flukes – that I worked so hard to catch, mind you – being stolen by a fucking shark. A shark! That damn thing was behind me, underwater, waiting to steal my catch. And, as fate might have it, I couldn’t see him because the water was so murky.
Now, there I was, sitting in my boat just like Santiago with that bastardized shark making off with the meal that I worked so dearly for.
Ah, it was tragic, having to make my way back to shore – empty handed and defeated. But goddammit, let me tell y’, better that he made off with those Flukes than a chunk of my ass and thigh. That I know. That I know.