Fish & Chips

 

Photography by Bree Humphrey

“Is he fishing?” I turned to Bree in pure astonishment.

“Looks like it.”

“Excuse me, sir.” I interrupted his peace. “What are you fishing for?” These waters don’t look like they entertain life.

“Catfish,” he said, turning for only a second to catch a glimpse of our unfamiliar brown legs.

I stared at his homemade pallet and wondered if he was serious. A pile of french fries sat to his right.

“Is that your bait?”

The man removed his pole from the cloudy green water and dangled a soggy McDonald’s fry.

“Yes.”

Asian man, Are you homeless? I mean, “Do you come here every day?”

“Uh, yes. Well, no. Almost…”

I wondered if he was at all aware of his own mystery. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and blamed his short replies on his lack of memorized English words and not his unparalleled peculiarity. Bree captured secret pictures while I distracted him with genuine questions. I didn’t understand, and then I realized that I didn’t have to. He was fishing for catfish with french fries on a Thursday afternoon in the middle of Los Angeles.

We said our goodbyes. I scribbled feverishly into my notebook and turned back for confirmation. He sat there, indian style, waiting patiently for a toxic find.

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