The Fisherman

By Gabriel Verdeta


The Fisherman

There is nothing to see. Dark blue and beige. Yellow bars and windows. Gabriel is feeling the soft seat supporting his back, waiting for the train to leave the station. Empty. Empty with few commuters only. A lady in her mid thirties, blond hair, sitting on the double seat few steps away. Older bloke in the other part of the carriage. That's all Gabriel can remember from entering the train. It was warm evening that night. Warm and sad. It is always sad when someone is leaving, I believe. So Gabriel was sad too. He generally takes this moments, he feels it. Sometimes more than the other.

The doors just made the sound about to close. He looked at them with a hope. A Hope that something will start moving now. Escaping from the stale sadness of the underground platform. Taking the way down the dark tunnel. Soon will be out in the light of the night city. Gabriel is excited to experience something new. Different than usual daily journey. But there isn't any exited situation about to arise. Just normal train journey to his home.

Gabriel is young man in his early thirties. He grows his dark blond (or light brown if you prefer) hair to short to mid length and so do his beard sometimes. But the beard usually just short length, as it is a bit uneven and not so thick. He likes fish and he dreams about fishing time to time. And when he was looking for a job, few years ago, he decided to seek his happiness in a company which has something to do with fish. But there isn't many companies like that in London, so he lowered his expectations to ships and sea at the end. In 2011, when the tide was really low, he got finally lucky and became a software engineer for large shipping company called MERK. He never really wanted to make his career as a programmer, but this seemed as a nice opportunity, since the company specialises to tankers and large containers shipping around the world, he was hoping to be on one of those ships sailing with his laptop and coding various shipping apps. This, for Gabriel's unfortunate, never happened. Five years down now, and he is analysing shipping software logs instead.

You wouldn't imagine the vast amount of logs produced by the shipping apps. It's huge. There is a whole team of software analysts ready to lookup sequence numbers and tracking ids in tons of log files. Some of the analysts are more bright than the others. Some of them, like Gabriel, are excellent but lost. Gabriel created many automated processes and originally manual operations became just one click of a button. But he got unhappy since. He got stuck in his small office talking to his office mates about the usual. The usual nonsense stuff.

The train is approaching his home stop now. Nothing exciting happened today. Same day as the most of them. He stopped hoping to experience something new and different as he is leaving the train station. He is about to cross the main road at the same place like every day. Not a busy road, not in particular at this evening time. Gabriel lifted his right foot to proceed on the road. But there is something different today. The smell, the sun light, the taste of the air, the strange feeling in his stomach. He decided to not step on the road and wait for a second. He looked at the asphalt more closely and he is seeing water. The surface is water, not the asphalt. Gabriel thinks he just dreams and can't believe what he sees. He started looking around him and realising the street is empty. Where are all the people gone? He is getting freaked out right now, his brain is panicking and his heart is pumping too much and too quickly blood for feeding up his panic brain. With terrifying expressions in his face, he has trouble to breath enough and he is stepping back from the road edge. He closed his eyes for a moment. And opened back again. Now, the street seems to be normal as before. People walking, cars rumbling.

What a strange experience, he thinks as he is walking home. The Windmill hill street is getting quieter later the evening is. It’s a bit up the hill with small blocks of flat on the left hand side and some Indian restaurant, car dealership and houses on the right hand side. Gabriel always takes the small Glebe Avenue street with large family houses right off the Windmill hill street and walks to its end where his home is. Number 23, corner of The Ridgeway and Glebe Avenue. It’s an old family house building which is converted to four small flats. Small units of different size on three floors. Gabriel lives in the top floor one - a loft conversion. The house itself has a tree in the corner of the front garden where also bins are. The main entrance doors are vintage grey colour and difficult to open at any point of a time. Dark narrow stairwell leads to Gabriel’s flat which is surprisingly light full and it looks more like a cottage inside. And smells as well. And actually it’s hot in the summer and cold during the winter too. But it’s a home. The home Gabriel lives in.