I woke in the fug and dregs of last night’s bar-room abominations and regrets, the buzzing aural glare of this early morning’s alarm-clock stabbing through my eyeballs into the beery midst of the nausea of over-indulgence within.
A small hand pulling at the collar of my stained t-shirt and a voice coming at me from miles away, “Daddy, it’s time to go fishing.”
I shouldn’t have been driving, but the adequate and much-loved aluminium vessel, HMAS Murphy, was shackled to the trailer and hitched to the car when I made it into the garage so we went.
A brief feeling of vim and vigour cut through the queasiness when I got wind of the fried dim sims quietly steaming in the spotlight of the bain-marie at the servo on the way out of town, but back in the car and one bite in I knew this day was going to be a trial. I felt my gorge rising, swallowed and took a few deep breaths.
“How’re ya chips, Riv?”
“Good thanks, Daddy.”
Out on the water the blue skies and slight breeze helped ease the pressure in my sinuses, unlike having to explain how to tie knots and how not to hook yourself.
For a while River played at angling the lake and I kept Murphy at a low chug just above idle, an eye on the silicone holding the seams of the hull together, using the battered old McDonald’s cup to bail out a few cursory scoops now and then.
“Let’s pull her up here, mate. See if we can snag a reddie.”
The young fella dropped a line in anticipation, watching the loops spool out of his reel and I felt the first inklings that my head might be clearing.
Then an exclamation sung, “Dad! I’ve got one!”
River reeled and wound with the end of his rod wriggling and wrenching, adrenaline and anticipation eliciting an occasional involuntary whoop.
Leaning over the side, we watched as the catch came up through our swirling reflections from the muddy depths.
Catch of the day: a pair of sunglasses.
Tallboy & Moose The Fang Red IPA
Tallboy & Moose, Preston, Victoria