HumpDay Quickie #85

Posted: November 18, 2015 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , , , ,

Not Catching Fish Like My Father

by Richard Edenfield

On lazy afternoons in Alabama after the ice thaws and the leaves gather in a dark ring around the parameter of the lake that warms with July air that fills with fireworks like water bugs sliding across an evening surface with a colorful pride, on lazy afternoons like that, I would head down to the water and go fishing. I’d walk onto the pier that I helped make with my father, wearing a straw hat that I got at Piggly Wiggly. I dressed like my father. Walked like my father. Talked like my father. Was silent like my father. And even had a bunch of keys hanging from my belt like my father; I thought two things made an adult: having lots of keys, and wearing a watch… and of course, fishing. My father never caught anything, so I tried not to catch anything, either. I doubt that he tried not to catch anything on purpose, he just had bad fishing luck. I checked my wrist like my father did after hours of not catching anything, with a quick glance, like he always did when my mother was cooking. Quick. As if time was very proud and did not want to be checked up on. Shy ticking by a warm oven.

I would sit and stare at the horizon. My legs dangling over the pier. A pier that was very much like a treehouse, except that you could look down to see the sky. And, at night, I felt suspended on my pier as if it was a spaceship sailing over the earth with my line anchoring me home. Some older kids would drink and make noise. They threw their beer cans into the water and these cans would float like satellites in the dark reaches of lake space. I ignored those kids and just concentrated on catching nothing.

When I got home, dinner was coming out of the oven. It was fish. Some Salmon with butter and lemon. I would eat the fish like my father. He would eat fish like it was the greatest thing in the world. His keys would jingle at his side. So would mine.


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