Fishing by Chelsea Biondolillo

Because I could see the over-sized square face of the bus, rounding the corner; because I couldn’t be late to work again; because I had worn tennis shoes and could run; because of all this I sped past the fisherman on the canal at exactly his moment of triumph.

Gleaming, swiveling, the carp arced on the end of his hand-tied line. It was majestic, as city fish go, weighty and sleek. The green lurid smell of the water swirled thick around them. His broken smile cracked wide as he held up his prize, spun on his sole-less shoes toward the traffic stopped at the light. I wanted to slow down, admire his catch. I wanted to take his picture, and ask his name. I wanted to know who he was fishing for, but instead, I called out, “¡Que Bonito!” and thought of the time clock. I raced past the school of rush hour drivers. No one honked, no one cheered this miracle: a grand fish–instead of a crooked bike tire or drowned campaign sign–dredged up from the canal. On any other day this stream was just an obstacle to drive over or around.

I never looked back to see if his victory remained unwithered. I heaved onto the bus, the doors wheezing closed behind me. Did his smile falter? Turn toward the fish?

At work, everyone did the things they did, and nothing at all happened. The next day I came early, but the fisherman was gone.

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11 Comments

Filed under Chelsea Biondolillo

11 responses to “Fishing by Chelsea Biondolillo

  1. Al McDermid

    Makes me want to scream, thinking about how we’re so bound by the clock that we can’t take time to stop and share someone’s victory, take a picture, enjoy a moment . . . A well-crafted story, I especially liked the details, the bike tire, nothing happening at work.

  2. Superbly done, a lesson painted with images that force us to look at a story about looking. Nice!

  3. Len

    this was really nice and moving at the end.

  4. Thank you for each the comments. I enjoyed my first 52/250… I will be back!

  5. Sigh. Another moment of glory unheralded or, rather, heralded too late. I’m with Al: frustrated by the rush that our lives seem to place us in. Nice story and personal reflection, Chelsea. So glad you decided to contribute!

  6. Nicely written. I sympathise more with the fish than the fisherman, but the idea of taking time to enjoy the little things rings through loud and clear.

  7. Kim Hutchinson

    Miracles and happiness come in moments. This one was rendered very nicely.

  8. I enjoyed this piece immensely, and it also made me think of what I miss, don’t experience, as a result of being on time, or on schedule, where “everyone did the things they did, and nothing at all happened.” Just perfect.

  9. Baby, you should have got his number!

  10. Oh to just be. Thank you for this lovely reminder to notice and to be late more often (and with such wonderful prose). Peace…

  11. Pingback: Week #31 – Missed the bus | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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