In Rawa Pening, down near the water, Hasyim Dasai the fisherman gets up every day long after noon. He gets up so late after noon that the other villagers mutter about how sinful and wasteful he is. His wife wakes up at dawn, a paragon of excellence next to him, and she works hard selling vegetables down at the garden. She'll come in stomping with a few coins and a mean sack of rice (with no turmeric to go in it) which get thrown down hard on the table. She might have a scrawny chicken if the day's been good and the older wives pity her for her lazy husband.
Invariably, though, Hasyim eats a poor meal prepared by his angry wife.
Hasyim doesn't complain. He shuffles into old, beaten sandals, into pants patched many times, into a loose tunic stained with fish guts. He takes his fishing kit down from where it hangs, and with his wife glaring after him, he goes out and down to the harbor where the boats have already come back in. The other fishermen jeer and laugh and point, but old Hasyim just yawns and scratches his belly, turning his back in a blatant show of disrespect.
His boat's just as patched and disreputable as his clothes. His nets, though, those are strung on long poles overhead, beaded with water and glittering in the setting sun. Hasyim grins like a foolish boy of twelve just learning his craft and poles out with his nets ready. As the clouds shift in fluffy pillows like mlinjo crackers stacked one over another, he lights the lantern on the prow of his boat. He stands up, planting his legs firmly. He raises his net, makes ready.
The sun comes soaring down, buttery-bright and warm, sending exploring fingers one last time out over the rolling waters. The boat bucks underfoot, and Hasyim draws breath, yells.
Soaring like a dancer's veil overhead, translucent, fire-hued strands of silk vanishing against the brilliant patterns of the sky, Hasyim Dasai throws his net out at the sun. With a snapping of strands, the net hangs suspended against the clouds.
The sun plunges down, fleeing into the horizon Just like every day, Hasyim Dasai hauls the net back up and out of the water, grunting heavily with the effort. A few small fish cling in the folds, barely enough for a meal. He hauls these up, grunts, then grins as he untangles the net.
Long after dark, he comes stomping, stomping, right back up to the old, beaten shack he lives in. His wife is scowling and counting coins by the light of a tiny oil-fed lamp, and she glares at him, refusing to even speak.
Hasyim Dasai grins like a boy of twelve and tosses down the gutted fish, and next to them, a square of translucent, fire-hued strands of silk in which the sunlight, the last of the day, runs in solid beads of amber and gold.
The next day, there's turmeric for the rice, and the wife comes home from the market with brand new silk and a fat, plump chicken. Hasyim Dasai the fisherman gets up long after noon and eats his rice and the plump chicken, grinning at his wife like a holy fool.
He puts on his old, patched pants and his old, stained tunic, and his sandals.
Scratching his belly, he heads down to the water to try and catch the sun.