Imagine darkness. Then, see the light.

Fishermen on Lake Victoria

by on Aug.09, 2015, under Short Stories

This is a shit life. I’m standing in the water, knee-deep, my trouser is wet and I can feel the wetness creeping up to my balls, and it’s cold. I’m pulling this net in for the fifteenth time today and all we got to show is four small, miserable Tilapia fish. Life sucks.
Must be the curse of Ssalongo who still thinks I fucked his wife. Maybe I did. I don’t remember. I fucked many wives, other people’s wives, down at Gerenge. On a lucky day when I get a couple of big Nile Perches in my net, man, a few hundred thousand shillings in the pocket, I’m the fucking village king for the night. Anything that moves… Everyone wants the share. And women get it, I promise you, they get it.
Why he cursed me, I don’t know; his wife has been all over the place. She has been through all of Gerenge several times over, anyone with a few thousand shillings and a cup of booze can have her. I remember guys saying she also gives some itchy discomfort which gets worse for us who stand in the water long time, that’s how I remembered to actually stay away from her. Why he cursed me, I don’t know.
I must save some money to buy my own net. This bloody net is too heavy and too costly to rent, especially when you catch fuck-all like today. And unless I get something big quick, I don’t know how I’m going to eat today. Not good to be hungry. Maybe Nansubuga will give me food on credit, even though last time I took long to pay her. Maybe. But I better get something quick.
And if I can buy my own net I will make sure it is even smaller than this one. I feel all the time that fish is passing through. I know even this size is illegal, but I will get myself a net that will net even the fish eggs, I tell you. Do you think it’s easy to row for an hour to spread the net in the water, then to pull for an hour only to find these four miserable shits, and we’ve been on the job since yesterday? I have no more strength left in me, I’m like a zombie standing here, I have no idea what power commands my hungry movements now and I’m on my last sachet of Waragi so soon, even the little fuel I have is finished.
And this boat needs fixing, holes everywhere. It is really depressing. If you don’t freeze your balls on the shore, you will freese them rowing while sitting on the boat floor in all this stinky water because the sitting bench broke off and I have not time to plug the holes. Not that they can be plugged, local canoe will always leak, but at least I should reduce this inflow because as I’m rowing, Katende is scooping the water with the bottom of the jerrycan and it’s a full time job, I tell you.
I was thinking of letting this life go but then, what is there for me? I have no land, my father chased my mother and has two other wives who have drunk and fucked everything we used to have at the village, my siblings are village drunkards and fools and anyway, they always hated me for being a free fucking spirit as they called me. Look at me, where this free spirit brought me. Fat chance of a happy life.
I should wisen up to start saving. Really, each time I get a hundred thousand, I should aim to save, like, ten. MAybe, one day, I can save enough to buy the net, fix this canoe, buy a new pair of oars – Katende should be rowing too – and build myself a hut instead of renting that concoction of planks and iron sheets that I sublet to village hookers while I’m away at work.
Aha! What’s that jumping in the net? Man! Katende! Katende!!! This is BIG!!! Oh man, this is big! This is the biggest motherfucker Nile Pearch I have seen this year! This is it! My money! Katende!!! Come we get this out!
Prayers answered! Just let it not get away! So here comes rent, net, food money, booze money, bitch money, oh man, here comes everything at once! Done for the day! Done for the rest of the weekend! Man. I’m going to eat pork tonight.

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