The sun outside gradually climbed high enough to burn as I sat at the dirty counter with an iced coffee. Next to me, with an unlabeled bottle and a rarely empty shot-glass, Roan told me all about the oyster beds. My attention wandered as he explained the difference between pearl oysters and his oysters, true oysters; the breeding cycle; the difference between a good oyster and a mediocre oyster; how to shuck an oyster and all the different ways to eat one. He told me everything I didn’t want to hear about oysters, pausing only to drain and refill the shot-glass in front of him. I only wanted to hear two things, though. I wanted to know how much the job paid, and I wanted to hear the story of how he lost his hand.
“I pay by the bushel,” he told me, and he wrote a number on a torn-off piece of newspaper and showed it to me, shielding it from the barman. It was enough. “And maybe if you work hard enough, I’ll tell you the rest. Too many boys like you come to hear the stories and have no intention to work. There’s no money in telling stories.” He drained the last of the bottle into his glass. “So what do you say?”
I stared at his glass. "What's the catch?"
Roan laughed. "There's no catch. You work hard, I pay you well. You don't like the number I showed you, find another job. But it's a small island."
He shook his head and stood up. There was loud "thud" and Roan doubled up in pain. Tears streamed from his eyes. "Damn it! Okay, there is one catch," he said, between gasps. "Don't eat only oysters." He sat down again. "I've had this God-damned boner for fifteen years."
Opening: anon......Continuation: anon.