DiCaprio’s Gap Year
He cruises Main Street every Friday come dreich or blue skies, sporting
mirror shades, white overalls and an Afro disguise; quite the showstopper.
His catchy tune tinkles in the wind before he appears round the hairpin
by the Ferry Inn; Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy, thou shall hev a fishy when…
Leonardo drives a converted ice cream van with a large plastic haddock
bolted to the roof, its flashing green eyes synchronise with the music.
The village cats wake up. The housewives apply lipstick. He delivers the flesh
of the sea direct from the Shetland trawlers and northern creel-boats.
His customers don’t know he survived Titanic and that since the heart
-wrenching moment he released Kate’s hand in the pool he’s been a wreck
with a strange empathy for inanimate fish. His therapist blames
all those hours spent in the water trying to look love-sick
for Cameron’s perfect shot. His therapist claims
he has PTSD and toxins from the snow powder seeped into his blood stream.
He could sue but what’s the point? It was the finality of letting go
that finished him, (though he’d promised he never would), the realization
that he was alone, dumped with no hope of rescue. After all his efforts to save
that spoiled brat, ruining his hair and getting chilblains in the process, she left him.
Just like those poor bastards neatly sliced and iced in his van;
the swordfish, monkfish, wolf-fish, langoustines, salmon, sea bass and lemon sole,
the delicate Orkney crabs, dressed and undressed for special occasions,
the peppered mackerel and smoked cod, the red snapper, prawns like babies’ penises
pickled in jars and lobsters with accusing eyes that make him turn away.
Jesus was a fisherman so every night Leo says a prayer
for the unwanted, those cast back into the harbor
and then he strolls to the end of the pier to practice walking on water.