- Vol. 08
- Chapter 03
Those boys are climbing through the gap in the fence again. He calls out to them to cut it out, to go home, to go somewhere else, anywhere, just stay away already. They laugh and keep slipping through, following the leader. One of them flips his middle finger Joe’s way as he swings through. There are four of them. He can see them though the fence, balancing on the edge of the jetty, heading towards the rich people’s boats.
He should get up, should chase them out. They’re clearly up to no good, but what they do when they’re out there, he has no idea. Joe is sick of it; sick of sitting in the deck chair outside the marina office for eight hours a day, staring at the boats as they bob up and down, the only break in the monotony yelling at these teenagers who think it’s funny when he tries to chuck them out. Sure, he can chase them off, but they’ll just come back tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. They know he’s not allowed to lay a hand on them. He’s not a cop. Not even really a security guard. The title on his payslip says he’s a caretaker, but he thinks of himself more as a watcher, because that’s what he does. He watches. Sometimes, he gives directions when people come down looking for whichever boat they’ve hired. Mostly, he thinks he’s just there as a reassuring presence. But he knows he’s a joke. Can’t even keep out a bunch of fourteen-year-olds.
Easiest thing to do would be to just patch up the hole, except he’d have to go and buy some more wire for that, and he’s not supposed to leave the office. Besides, who is going to pay for that? Not Joe. He barely makes enough to cover his bills as it is.
They’d probably just cut a new hole somewhere else anyway.
Besides, their parents probably own these boats. It would be just his luck, to finally lose his temper one of these days and smack one of the little smart arses up the side of the head (the one with the rat tail, most likely), only to find that he’s Junior to some Mr Bigwig whose docking fees pay Joe’s salary. No, it’s better to just yell, tell them they shouldn’t be there, and then forget about it. Listen for splashes or thumps or explosions. Call the ambulance, if he needs to. Maybe that would even make things a little more exciting.