A Fishing Story from Once Upon a Time:
My neighbor was the type of person who took me fishing even though I didn’t like fishing. I hated trying to get the barbed hook out of the tiny fish mouths (I only caught the tiny ones), the membrane so thin I could see through it. The thought of those precious smelly lake dwellers floating dead to shore made me decide not to bait my hooks anymore.
Was I the only one who saw those fish wash ashore? The sight of them removed my very heart as though a razor-barbed hook had mistakenly caught me there and yanked – yanked like you would if a shark were on the other end. Had I mortally wounded that poor sunfish in my attempts to get a free ride on the lake?
After all, it was the lake I longed for.
Not poorly baked fish with nasty bone textures.
So I squeezed a few extra sinkers on my nylon line, right above the hook with my own needle nosed pliers that I pulled from my vest, and left the hook naked. When I was advised to use a lure, I put my Snoopy fishing pole to work, reeling the line in so fast there was no way those tiny shiny fish could catch it.
Whenever possible I just sat in the boat and imagined living in the lake too. I would be one of those seaweed dwelling creatures who don’t mind the slimy textured plants. There are so many wonderful places to hide in the seaweed forest of a lake and fisherman’s hooks rarely venture there.
Or maybe I would just be the seaweed reaching toward the sun, brushing the underside of your boat. When I come loose and drift to your beach, I could create a grave of seaweed for those fishes that washed lifeless to shore, my pardon for killing them in a former life. You would wave back at me as you floated above, safe and dry in your watercraft. You could hear me stroking a greeting beneath your feet if you were still enough and smell my fishy smell if your cologne was weak enough. Or is it really my seaweed smell that makes the fish odor? That fish smells seaweedy. Sounds about right.