“Fish for sale!” he screamed across the lane, the tenor echoing from the wood beams. “We’ve got grouper! Bass! Monkfish!” I stared as his lips conformed to every letter. The cracked, callused skin writhed in every possible direction. “Come on, people! This is the premier catch of the morning!”
A man in a fedora, his stippled beard flashing across his face in the blocks of sunlight, reached down to the display and tossed the mussels about without looking down. Their black ridges flicked drops of water, diamond bright, through the air onto the chunks of ice, but he passed by. I guess it was only a courtesy.
The next one was a woman. Her hair was the same color as his smock – vitriolic orange. I haven’t seen a worse dye-job before or since. The fishmonger managed to pull it off, though. “Young lady,” he lied. “Come on now. Don’t you want a nice piece of salmon for dinner? It’s fresh out of the Columbia River.” His lips and brow streaked with lines as she sashayed past. “I pulled it out of the water with my own hands!”
He grasped at more than just my heartstrings now. I would be justified to punch her, right? I don’t know how she passed him by – I hide behind this pillar every day. Is it bad that I don’t know his name yet?
“I know you want something, sir! King crab legs! Special price – half off just for you!” A man in a trench coat scoffed and walked briskly past, cancelling the echoes of the fishmonger’s voice. “Anyone?” His volume dropped and the color flushed away from the sharp cheekbones.
I marched out from behind the pillar. “Hi.” He looked down the hook of his nose at me, a smile trying to pull at his lips. “Could I get some of those oysters?
I hope you enjoy. Equality for all!