The joy of fishing
500 Words: The Kindness of Strangers
We were both in the fishing aisle of a local store. I was examining the lures. He was scanning the shelves.
We squeezed past each other, me with my shopping bags, him with his walking stick.
We caught each other’s eye and smiled. “What are you after?” he asked. “Beach lures,” I replied. “It’s my teenage son’s birthday and he has asked for beach lures. He’s a mad, keen fisherman. How about you, what are you after?” I asked him. “Just looking,” he replied.
He told me he had a couple of rods at home. Hadn’t used them in a while. But he saw the fishing aisle in this store and just wanted to “take a look”.
When he said that, he reminded me of my father, who insisted that he “hated shopping” but would happily spend hours in the hardware section of any store, anywhere!We spent time looking at the shelves, checking out the lures (for me) and the hooks (for him), while discussing the pros and cons of fishing. We chatted about river fishing as opposed to beach fishing, fishing off a wharf as opposed to going out in a tinny. We touched on funny experiences and scary situations.He seemed a bit upset about not having been fishing for a while.
I explained that I didn’t actually fish, but went with my husband and kids and just kept them company. I carried a notebook and pen and took the opportunity to do some writing, if possible.We moved onto the tackle box section and had a chat about the different types. Size, colour and holding capacity were discussed. He still had his old cane tackle box, he said. It sounded like a beautiful piece of fishing equipment. I advised that we had given my son a medium-sized green plastic tackle box last birthday – one with lots of compartments of differing dimensions.I finally chose the beach lures and he decided to buy some new hooks. He also chose some new line – he said he was going to get his old rods out and rig them up again. Then he was going to go fishing.”She’s coming with me,” he said in a loud voice, looking past me to a lady who was walking towards us. She turned out to be his wife.”There you are,” she said, “and where are we going?””Fishing,” we replied, the stranger and I.”Okay,” she laughed, “as long as I can bring my knitting!”Read more of Diana Harley’s writing at her blog dianaharley.wordpress.com