It took Daniel five minutes of walking down the dirt road to the wharf, watching his sinker bounce on the end of his line, before he realized that he had forgotten his lures on the kitchen table. It was a honest mistake seeing as he had no intentions of using them -the lures and rod were merely a prop- but a hard ball still formed in his stomach containing a brew of shame and annoyance. In Daniel’s opinion, this physical reaction was undoubtedly caused by the negative psychic vibes he received from people who probably thought of him as ‘the one who never gets it right’. But he swallowed down his anger and in that instant created a boy who would save him from his incompetence. The boy who was going to meet him at the wharf with lures and bait. Daniel would wait patiently even though Tom was known to forget about these sort of things.
“I bet he completely forgot,” he’ll tell the other boys swimming there, “the guy’s a bit dim.”
Daniel was feeling confidant again and almost didn’t hear the sound of the approaching vehicle behind him. Moving off to the side, the truck rumbled past, a cloud of dust kicking up from under it’s wheels. Now, with the sun burning his skin and the air feeling cool in his lungs, his senses devoured the passing truck, the rising dust, and the song of crunching gravel. He appreciated the chronologically universal nostalgia of such an event and imagined a time in the past when this road was newly formed and a cement truck bumbled down it towards the road, it’s belly relieved of it’s burden.
“Behold!” the contractor had likely proclaimed , “Another flawless creation! Who would challenge the fact that this structure is an exact replica of every wharf of my creation in this province? Prepare the appropriate documentation. Oh, and you three; Guard the wharf tonight and make sure none of the local hooligans make profane alterations to this cement before it’s dry.”
But the foolish guards had celebrated early, happy to be paid for nothing, and fell asleep while a gangly teenager with a large stick snuck onto the beach that flanks the Wharf.
Daniel got the joke. The joke teenagers secretly shared about being completely unmotivated and then, suddenly, making a contribution that would live on in the minds of generations. Daniel was already forming anecdotal evidence:
Take, for example, Grandma Finn. She has just gotten comfortable in her rocking chair and is ready to work on another one of her wonderful tea cozies (Fifty three and counting) when her concentration is broken by her energetic young granddaughter who has burst into the room with something undoubtedly important to say.
“Gran, gran! Let’s go down to Freeman’s wharf for a swim!”
A thought slowly crawls, unrequested, from the sewery subconscious of her mind: “Melissa gives head 4 free”
Oh grandma! How could such a thought enter your mind? Har, har!
As Daniel came up a small hill the peers of the wharf rose up before him like a defeated fortress, it’s teeth knocked out from an old invasion. The usual group of partial prepubescents were not there. Instead, some lone kid with a guns and roses shirt sat carving pieces of rubber off his sneakers. Daniel was, admittedly, slightly relieved. He didn’t want to be seen abandoned by Tom.
The truck which had passed him was parked beside the fence. Daniel was quick to assist the owner of the truck who was collecting large rocks on the beach. The man was surprised to receive the help without any vocal arrangement but was soon humored by Daniel’s enthusiasm which wasn’t diminished by the fact that he could only carry one rock at a time back to the truck. As a result of Daniel’s usual interrogation, the man, Richard, divulged that he was using the rocks to line his garden. Daniel suggested that he instead build a fox trap or a root cellar. He replied that he would take it into consideration.
It wasn’t long after their muscles were starting to warm that the truck was sufficiently full and the job done. Richard was thankful for the help and drew from his pocket a small fossil he had found on the beach. The man smiled and Daniel took the small reward.
“Thank you,” Daniel said and smiled back.
As Richard was about to leave a cold wind blew in off the river.