Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The Fisherman's Wharf
I am Fisherman.
This is my Wharf. Take a look. Can you see that? The beams of sunlight bounce softly off the majestic cherry-oak frame. Can you hear that? The waves crashing like water-muffins dropped from a hot tray onto a cold, steel girder of Wharf exuberance. Wharfuberance.
The wharf abounds with grace and beauty. Truly, a wharf built by the hand of man, but welded by the thunderbolt of Zeus himself. I grew up on this Wharf, quite literally.
My grandfather, Fisherman, built this place. Upon its completion, he died; lost at sea, right next to the Wharf, in what was later called "The Perfect Wharf Storm," also known as "The Whaorm of 1911." At that time, no one could inherit the Wharf, since my grandfather had not lived to beget a son. Years past, and the orphan wharf, now but a Wharfan, fell into disrepair.
The year 1919 arrived and with it the culmination of the Women's Suffrage movement. It was at that moment that my grandmother, Fisherman's Woman, sad widow of my grandfather, discovered that she had had a daughter, Fisherman's Woman, living somewhere in the lowlands. My grandmother recalled neither the pregnancy nor the birth, yet received by carrier seal a confirmation letter: her spawness lived! My mother.
It was the 20's and things were different then. My mother was brought to the Wharf and raised by the Sea Lions, since her mother could not bear to look upon her, lest she be reminded of her husband, lost at sea, right there by the wharf. He was buried there, you know.
My mother, Fisherman's Woman, married Darryl, a woodsman raised in the desert. The Women's Suffrage movement gave The Women crazy ideas, and Darryl was forced by knifepoint to take the last name of his wife, and thus carried on the Fisherman name. Night fell the day they were married, and my grandmother, Fisherman's Woman, took her own life, quite happily, to the thunderous applause of both wedding attendees. A picture of this was taken. It was never found.
The next morning Fisherman and his new wife, Fisherman's Woman, my father and mother, built a small log cabin on top of the wharf. It was a simple place- a cast iron stove, three shoes, dried fish, and a pocketwatch adorned the walls. Fisherman made it his life work to care for the cabin- Mother would spend her days walking up and down the wharf, picking up small pieces of fish and bits of sand, throwing them back into the surf, saying, "That will be for another day." They lived like this for sixty years.
I don't remember the details, but I was conceived under a full moon on the evening of January 13th.
Soon after, I was born. As I exited my mother, a Sea Lion grabbed me in its Jowels and vowed then and there to take me to another Sea Land. He told me things I dare not repeat to you whose ears may hear them. I whisper these words only to myself in my private moments. I could hear the faint whimpers of Mother and Fisherman as Sea Lion began to swim away, I in its clutches.
With my three-second old hand I grabbed the Starboard support column of the Wharf, made good on my grip, and let out great underwater shriek, "I shall not leave this place! This is my Wharf!"
Soaking wet and with a great cherry-oak splinter in my hand I crawled out of the water and back onto my Wharf. By this time, Mother and Fisherman had died of old age.
And so begins my story. I am Fisherman. This is my Wharf.