All along the top dock lines ran from the railing down to colorful floats, disappearing into the opaque water. The sky was scudded with clouds and hazy, so that the blue water and the blue sky and the blue islands were soft and dreamy like a watercolor painting. Bicycles passed, weaving between pedestrians. Families strolled by with children and small dogs, laughing in Spanish too quick for me to understand. A man rowed up in a tiny wooden dingy with a giant poodle riding the prow and the two of them followed the laughing families up and away. Children climbed onto the high railing, posing till parents or passersby took notice, before flinging their bodies out between the floats. The dock was cheerful and alive in the golden light of evening.
A man walked up from the floating dock holding a fish by the gills, trailed by a round little girl in a startlingly hot pink bikini. I didn’t understand what he held till he dropped the dogfish onto the dock. It fought the concrete, trying to swim the air, gasping. The child crouched beside it, poking the shark back onto its bloody belly when it rolled. The man stood over her, arms crossed, while other men walked over to admire the catch and take pictures with their cell phones. “Will you eat it?” someone asked, curious and slightly appalled. “No,” the little girl answered, laughing, "of course not." When the shark finally stilled the man toed it straight and walked back to his line.
My friend and I watched this small, casual violence from the same bench where we had sat, sunning dry after a swim, talking about small things and watching the clouds and the families and the man rowing his poodle across the bay. We tried to turn away. We tried to turn back to our conversation. But in the end we looked on in silence. When the man left, we stood and picked up our shoes. The round little girl in her hot pink bikini was still crouched by the dead shark when we walked away.
Owner | Baker
TODAY AT MARKET
Red & White
Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie
Bittersweet Chocolate Cookie
All Berry Slab Pie
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Red & White, Mountain Rye, Baker's Choice: TOASTED SESAME
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