"Catch anything good?"
I look over my shoulder only briefly at the man who's dropped to a crouch beside me; he's smiling hesitantly, shoulders hunched. It's a smile full of inarticulate masculinity, a fear-grimace he wears when he realizes he can't dance around whatever embarrassingly emotional topic is about to come up. The smile is worse, in a lot of ways, than any of his snarls or grimaces. I look back at the sea.
( The pause is awkward and long and noisy, the sighs of the waves competing with the pounding of the blood in my ears. )