After the last post, we finished lunch and were driving along the road by the coast, when Ayako suddenly spotted someone by the sea. We pulled over, but the man who was sitting on a rock fishing didn’t seem to notice us. He seemed totally engrossed in the ocean. We quickly got out of the car and started walking towards him. We called out, but he didn’t turn around or say anything. Alex crossed the rickety bridge that had been set up between his rock and those closest to the shore, and without turning around the man quietly asked, “Are you here to kill me?”

“No, of course not,” Alex answered and hurriedly placed his baseball bat with the nails in it on the rocks. “We haven’t seen anyone for a long time, and wanted to talk. That’s it.”

We spent almost an hour talking to the man as he fished, although he didn’t catch anything. Finally, all of a sudden he said, “Alright, let’s go home.” Then stood and turned to face us for the first time. Jimmy Rice

The man said we could stay with him for a night if we helped out around the house a little. Although Taro was anxious to get a move on, he was outvoted. I wanted to help the man out and we all wanted to find out as much as could from him. He needed some help with planting rice, which was a new experience for me.

His house was small and although he lived alone, there was a single photo of him with a woman in the tatami room. He didn’t talk about himself much, but he did tell us that there had been too waves of infected people around, with a calm in the middle. The first time he had spent a week in his garage with people constantly banging on the door and screaming outside. That last five days, and then suddenly stopped. He waited two more days and when he finally emerged, he found the bodies of four people lying on the ground outside.

After that things were relatively settled, until cars starting turning up from the cities.   This time he slept in the garage behind it’s heavy door, but still went out to fish and spent time in the house cooking. He made no mention of his family, and we chose not to ask. He didn’t have many other insights into what was happening, but had been following the news avidly. He grew heated when Alex asked what he thought about the recent announcement regarding Mad Cow Disease.

“No one in their right mind would believe that! Before the news started reporting lies like that, they were talking about North Korea’s weapons testing. I’m sure they’re behind this and the government is covering it up.”

In the evening I checked the news and noticed that not only the UK and UK news sites are down, but the only news sites that I can access are Japanese ones. Their message is a repetition of what they have been saying recently. Mainly that things are coming right, they are sorry for any inconvenience and that things are under control. The loss of other media is worrying. Not because they had a lot of insight into what is happening here, but what the possible implications of all news sites being inaccessible could be.

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3 thoughts on “48. A fisherman

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