Percy Lyons headed northeast along Main Street. A pair of fishing poles in his grip rattled as a Metro train ran by in the opposite direction.
As tall buildings eventually gave way to open sky, he began his descent toward the banks of Buffalo Bayou.
First stop that Saturday morning was to a shaded area under the Milam Street bridge on the outer edge of Downtown Houston’s Historic District. The sound of Lyons’ voice was greeted by the appearance of a tabby cat – then two more.
Jennifer, Pocahontas and Tom are survivors of a pride of feral cats that was culled by flash-floods over the past year. The cats kept Lyons company at a time, not that long ago, when he was homeless. Lyons spent nights on a cot than now lays abandoned under the bridge, where the cats continue to find shelter.
Lyons makes it a habit to check in whenever he can. The cats recognize his fishing poles – a hearty meal is coming.
Known in the area as The Fisherman, Lyons grew up in Louisiana. He learned to fish at the age of 5 by his grandmother’s side. After high school, he made his way to Arizona State University, where Lyons studied photojournalism. He later found work in his field.
Eventually, he ended up in Houston. Then lost his home. Able to draw on his past fishing expertise, he managed to regularly feed both himself and his feline friends.
Lyons learned that the best fishing after a heavy rain can be found at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou. Situated between the Harris County Jail Facility on N. San Jacinto Street and University of Houston-Downtown, the spot offers an ample supply of catfish and the occasional gar.
In his homeless days, Lyons used scraps of Popeye’s fried chicken to lure his catch. Wheaties breakfast cereal also worked well. Now, he baits his hooks with bits of hotdog, dipped in fish-fry grease. He stores the latter in an old grape jelly jar. The hotdogs are left out in the sun for a while, which hardens their casing and allows them to stay longer on the hook.
Despite being left-handed, Lyons casts with his right.
He easily fishes two rods at a time. The reels are placed on the ground at Lyons’ feet and watched closely for vibrations and movement. It only takes one cast to pull in the first catfish of the day. The best are about a foot long, Lyons said, calling them “sandwich size.” Those get battered and fired whole, fitting perfectly into a po’boy.
After reeling in a catch, Lyons grabs the catfish behind the head, careful not to get stung by its whiskers, and dislodges the hook in a single motion. The creature is tossed onto the concrete behind. It flaps around for less than a minute as water drains from its gills, forming a small dark puddle.
The Fisherman reappears with a yellow nylon rope. He feeds it into the fish’s mouth with the aid of a large rusty nail. An index finger thrust into the gill helps guide the rope through, with a wet gurgle, leaking from the fish.
With the catch now attached to the rope, one end of the line is tied to an anchor in the concrete wall and the fish and the rest of the rope are flung back into the water where they stay, secure, until eating time.
Every so often, a cast goes to waste by hooking debris that collects in the urban bayou. Lyons cuts his losses and draws a spare hook and lead weigh from a little tin box, then drops in a new line.
A few cigarettes pulled from a mix-matched pack are consumed in about an hour. Smaller catch will become cat food.
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Max wants to go visit Powell’s Books on their little day trip to Portland, cute! Not being from the states myself I wasn’t sure what Powell‘s was, but it was nothing a little google search couldn’t solve. As it turns out Powell is a pretty famous independent book store with a huge collection of used and out of print books. Here’s a little more background if you’re interested.
Powell’s Books, founded by Walter Powell in 1971, is a chain of bookstores in Portland, Oregon, and its surrounding metropolitan area. Powell’s headquarters, dubbed Powell’s City of Books, claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.
Powell’s City of Books is located in the Pearl District on the edge of downtown and occupies a full city block between NW 10th and 11th Avenues and between W. Burnside and NW Couch Streets. It contains over 68,000 square feet (6,300 m2), about 1.6 acres of retail floor space. CNN rates it one of the ten “coolest” bookstores in the world. [x]
In the middle of the previous quarter, Marinette had been dragged
along to a café at the edge of downtown by her cousin, Bridgette.
it did get her into a regular schedule for studying, she was at least
little concerned at how well Bridgette knew her crush’s schedule (“oh
come on, if you were in my shoes I bet you’d be even worse!” She
objected once, to which Marinette neither agreed or denied.) and the day
that the shifts were shuffled around, the grumpy barista was one night
replaced with a much nicer, much more familiar face.
Enter Adrien Agreste, model and son of her favorite designer.
maybe Bridgette wasn’t that wrong about the whole “you’d be worse”
thing. Not that she’d admit it anyway; as far as her cousin knew, she
was just sticking to the routine she was forced into.
bought her drinks before he came in for his shift so she wouldn’t be a
stuttering mess at the register, and managed only a glance when he came
in before pondering on her project’s theme for her class on week 2 of
the quarter. It was a seminar on generating inspiration from the world
around you, which came easy to her in collége. The class was encouraging
everyone to try something new outside of their normal sources of
Pick a series of anything and create a portfolio for each thing, including a photo of the source for each piece.
The only question was…what to pick?
Turns out fate had plans for her and her final project when she heard a yell and the sound of someone crashing to the ground.
first words to him ended up being, “A-are you okay?!” when he laughed
himself so hard he fell off of the stepladder he was on.
words she would have expected, but at least they came out clearly. Even
the thought of ordering a drink while he was at the counter tied up her
tongue and she couldn’t understand why. Yes, he is son to Gabriel
Agreste, her idol, but he’s just another student here working a food
service job like most everyone else on campus. Adrien Agreste is a
normal person among normal people now.
The magical powers-that-be
decided he should be treated as a normal person too, because when she
looked up and saw the blackboard, her nerves dissipated almost
In neat letters the blackboard read “Chai Noir.”
all it took for her former celebrity crush to crack. It didn’t matter
if he was cute; one punner in her life was already too much. She had to
admit though, it was a good pun for the fact that the drink matched her
Marinette felt a little bad for laughing at Adrien’s
drawing skills, but she was more than happy to fix it for him. She
barely remembered to pull up a photo for reference since she knew her
partner’s face and messy long hair like the back of her hand.
fumble when she introduced herself aside, talking to him soon felt like
easy banter like with Chat Noir or Alya. His body language was awkward
and stiff at first even when his speech wasn’t, she noticed, as if he
never talked to people he met this soon this much. He never showed any
sign of not wanting her company, so she stayed past closing time to talk
with him and get her last drink for the night.
She smiled to herself as she started pedaling. Maybe they were actually meant to meet.
When she arrived at home that night, Marinette took a long sip of the drink as she dropped her bag on the beanbag chair.
started doodling an idea she had the other day - a cute poncho with a
fluffy trim that was light enough to wear with most weather. The hoodie
cords had puffballs at the ends, matching the trim, and the whole thing
would pair well with cute shorts or leggings.
The drink was nearly
finished when she started painting it in with her cheap watercolors.
She had drawn herself in the outfit, so navy was dabbed onto her hair
and peach for her skin. Boots and shorts were easy with warm brown and
light blue tones, but when she got to the poncho itself, she wasn’t sure
exactly what color she wanted.
That is, until she took the lid off of her coffee cup to check how much of the Chai Noir she had left.
Marinette took one last sip, poured the remaining drink in the overturned lid and dipped her clean brush in it.
While Crane had had to remove some of his preferred comforts when organizing this move, he had no intention of actually moving his packed boxes and furniture himself. So their new house in a small mature community at just the edge of downtown Hampstead. It was a nice town; big enough to hide in and far enough from Gotham without having to move across the country.
Jonathan looked over at the person in his passenger seat, and over all, the catalyst for his move out of Gotham. Not the reasons, simply the catalyst. He turned the corner into his new neighbourhood. “How are you feeling?” he asked them, wondering what mix of emotions this life event was creating inside them.
Personally, he was rather detached, but also excited. It had been a long time since his life had changed in a positive way, even if he didn’t see it that way at the same time. Healing came in unexpected forms sometimes.