Too Young to Die (4 of 4)

We were surrounded by the crowd. Children always curious about fear, asked if we had been scared. I answered that we had been scared and the old man said that it was good for a man to be scared…… sometimes.

‘To know fear is to know God,’ he said.

His leathery face so close, his bright blue eyes penetrating, searching. I felt the fear I had felt earlier. Slowly he nodded and walked away.

A younger man spoke. ‘This man is the patron of the bar and he wishes to buy your fish,’ he said motioning to a short fellow with a round smiling face. ‘You are tired so we will carry your fish to the bar. When you are rested come to the bar and he will pay you, he will give you a good price.’ We agreed and the whole crowd of us headed up the hill towards the van, there was much talk and many questions.

‘Where did we find the fish?’

How deep did we go?’

The crowd left us and we brewed some tea.

‘Well?’ he looked at me inquisitively.

‘I wouldn’t like to do that every day.’ I answered with as much bravado as I could muster.

‘You’ll get used to it,’ he said

That was his way. Get used to it or do something else. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get used to it. I decided to tell him about my experience. I was unsure if I had taken the challenge of the sea and won or if I had been defeated and humbled. I thought I had faced fear and conquered it. Or had I? What did that mean? He sat for a while then spoke.

‘You won,’ he said.

‘You mean I beat the sea?’

‘No, The sea is an inanimate object, it doesn’t think or feel. You defeated your inner-self. The part of us that wants to quit and go running home to mummy. Life is an experience; today was just another notch on your life pole.’ He grinned.

We headed to the bar. We took two stools at the bar and ordered beer. A woman appeared from the kitchen carrying a huge plate containing some of our catch.

‘My wife,’ explained the patron. ‘Please choose one each.’ After a while she returned with the cooked fish accompanied by potatoes boiled with garlic in a way that only the  Spanish do well. The patron smiled. As we finished our meal the men of the village drifted in. There was much talk of bravado, rough seas and of course the fishing. Very much later and after many beers we decided to take our leave and asked for our bill. The patron refused, his wife refused, the whole bar refused. On the way out I saw the old man again and he beckoned me.

‘Today you have learnt not to fear the sea. You must never fear the sea,’ he said. ‘Nor must you underestimate her. But, you must respect her. You are young and today maybe you underestimated her, maybe you showed her disrespect and maybe you didn’t, that is not for me to say. Whatever you did today she forgave you. Be careful young one. She does not forgive often and rarely does she forgive twice.’  With a grin he turned and left.

I hope you enjoyed this, it was the scariest day of my life, but I guess I was too young to die, that day, 😉

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About charliecountryboy

Carpenter and Carpentry Lecturer. Writer, 5k and 10k runner, musician. Curious about life and all those wonderful people in it.
This entry was posted in 1970'S, Blogging, Fishing, Life, nature, Opinion, people and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Too Young to Die (4 of 4)

  1. This title reminds me of the play Too Rich to Die or Mr. Money man.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have always feared and respected the sea.. Glad she spat you out that day.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was scary experience but I loved those lines when that guy said “You defeated your inner-self. The part of us that wants to quit and go running home to mummy.”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. ChecheWinnie says:

    Indeed you were too young to die, but to learn important lessons in life through the experience. And yes, Sea should never be underestimated regardless of her peaceful nature sometimes. It was a great one

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’ve enjoyed this series so much. For a moment I’m away from my life and in Spain, standing in the crowd, watching this happen.

    Like

  6. Carolyn Page says:

    Wonderful writing, Charlie, and wonderful that you survived to tell the tale.
    I love so many of your quotes. Perhaps this is the fave:
    “Whatever you did today she forgave you. Be careful young one. She does not forgive often and rarely does she forgive twice.”
    You must have learned one heck of a lot about yourself that day!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Absolute classic from you, Charlie. A thrilling tale which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I really like that wise old man too – maybe that is what you became, sorry, will become, later in life. I still think you were a bit crazy though. Good-crazy, but crazy nevertheless.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks once more Pete, love your support/comments. Thinking back I think it’s the people who have always told me, “you can’t do that or this” that has driven me, luckily no one ever told me I couldn’t jump off a cliff 😜

      Liked by 1 person

  8. u depicted fear well dear…..
    #too young to die #

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for the masterpiece.. Well written and presentable..

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ilonapulianauskaite says:

    Finally, you were really too young to die, enjoyed completed piece🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  11. sheqoz.com says:

    There’s something about the sea. Luckily she forgave you, perhaps she understood your young heart. I’m just glad you survived. That’s a masterpiece right there Charlie! You’re good ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So, it was a happy ending after all, even if it was well wrapped in fear. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You survived 😀 Awesome conclusion to the story! Did you end up having to ask for forgiveness a second time?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. kloydecaday says:

    Good job for supporting self-expression/mental health advocacy through writing. I appreciate it if we follow each other and keep on blogging. Thank you!

    Hello there. This is good writing. I’m on the crossroads, and faith is something that either boggles or fascinates me. I am just new here in WordPress (2 weeks actually), and I also wrote a book review/wrote about my take/experience of reading Anne Lamott. Here it is: https://kloydecaday.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/books-on-faith-terrify-me-until-anne-lamott/.

    Liked by 2 people

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