Joe was a stout former fisherman, with the superstitious nature and swarthy complexion that go with the territory. He had plied the waters of the sound eking a living from the crab and lobster pots, just as his father had done, and his father before him. He had no legal entitlement to that stretch of coastline, but rather an understanding that predated law. Their family's buoys were as much a part of the scenery as the surf and jagged rocks. So when they redrew the maps, they took more than just his job; they took his livelihood; his identity.
Growing up, I had never had much to do with Joe. He was a year older than me, and in those days 12 months was an unbreachable gulf. Beyond that, though, he had a wild temperament and I was more than a little afraid of him. That fear had not entirely dissipated over the years. Even now, reclining in the dim starlight under his porch awning, there was still something anarchic behind those brown eyes; something feral.
I coughed to informed him of my presence. He didn't turn straight away, but took a last draw from his cigarette, flicked it into the darkness, and swivelled his neck slowly, as if it were weighed down by the gravity of the night's events. He raised an eyebrow speculatively, awaiting my response.
"Pete." I croaked, "It was Pete."
Joe nodded sententiously, stared out at the watery horizon and raised himself from the bench.
"You'd best come inside." He growelled