The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Crabby and Flirty

Oregon coast, photos, travel

From the Oregon coast, courtesy of Mitch Rohse

“I’ve been here 26 years,” a crab catcher tells the woman in the bulky navy coat. She’d been sitting in her car, watching the crabbing, perhaps waiting on one of the yellow-rain-coated men on the dock. A minute ago she exited to have a cigarette and take in the fresh air. This man advanced upon her like the flapping seagulls when the crab traps were raised. “I like those spots over there, I think it’s deeper on that side of the dock.” He wears his wallet on a chain, paint and seawater dapple his grey sweatshirt. He wears his brown hair long, coiling rather neatly from under his blue baseball cap. He approached the woman on her right, so she saw his left profile in her periphery when they stared over the water. From that angle, she couldn’t see the giant neck tattoo on his right side.

He smokes and chats with her. She tucks her brown and scarf around her neck as the wind gusts her cigarette ashes away. He extends his hand, and she pushes up her glasses before accepting his handshake. “I’ll be out there on Saturday and, no, Saturday and Monday, in the morning. Sunday I’ll be busy.” He paints his social calendar and she nods.

When she turns to laugh at something he’s said, her age becomes clear. She is older than him by at least decade, perhaps two, and flattered and shy. “Nice meetin’ you,” he calls as he departs.

“You too, Mark…” She flips her feathered orange hair over her shoulder and takes a grinning gasp at the sea.

–Waldport, Oregon

Oregon coast, travel photos, Newport

Courtesy of Mitch Rohse

9 comments on “Crabby and Flirty

  1. Steven Wordsmith Lincoln
    November 2, 2012

    Oooo, I wanna know more.
    Favorite line: “paint and seawater dapple his grey sweatshirt.” And yes, they are great pics.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 2, 2012

      Alas, not much more to report. Perhaps they would meet again on Monday morning to search for crabs! I love the Pacific Northwest!

  2. Jill Weatherholt
    November 4, 2012

    Love the photographs! Beautiful!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 4, 2012

      Yep, my uncle is really a talented photog. Now going back to my photos is going to be rather disappointing, I’m afraid! 🙂

  3. kiwiskan
    January 3, 2014

    great shots, neat story

  4. Leya
    January 4, 2014

    I wonder if she knew about his tattoo? This story made me think of three of my students. Two nice girls in the first year (16-17 years old) and a handsome young man from a last year class (19). The two girls came walking down the street as I was on my way to the car to drive back home. The young, handsome man travels with me a couple of days a week, because he lives close to my home. The two girls screwed up their eyes, said hello and went inside the school building. Next day they shyly but boldly asked me in person why this young man was in my car…”Is he your boy toy?” they asked! I smiled at them and explained that it was called “toy boy”, what they were hinting at…both of them were blushing when I told them that I picked him up and dropped him off two days a week…because that was convenient for him and we got along well together chatting,

    I laugh every time I think of this! The boldness, the shyness, the curiosity…I told them they watch far too many american movies…

  5. A lovely write. Oregon has such a beautiful coast, much like our own. Your words bring out the elements of the story vividly.

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This entry was posted on November 2, 2012 by in Travel.

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