‘Probably best ease up on the mullet stories now,’ he said. I’d posted a few stories about catching mullet on my blog but the netting season had officially ended and he is a more cautious soul than me. He has to be.
A few nights later I rowed out the boat. I thought he was coming to visit me. I never really know when he will visit me but he’d mentioned that he might come out. If he is unable to make it, he can’t contact me anyway because I’m out of range.
I set some net, feeling bloody-minded with his censure and absence, and stumped up the hill in my fishing boots to make a desultory dinner. When it was past ten o’clock and he still wasn’t here, I rowed back out into the inlet. I rowed and rowed and couldn’t find the net. The torchlight had no reach for the buoy. I clicked it off and waited in the still night for my night vision and the sound of his car. Sat in the boat waiting. The wind came up and blew me west, parallel to the shore and bless that pup if she wasn’t waiting for me where I blew in. Eyebrows like karri moth wings in the dark, stepping into the water to greet me. Not a lover, not a life partner, not a fisheries officer, just a dog watching out for me in the night, waiting for me to come ashore.