ive never gone fishing before.
real fishing. where you are in a small boat with one or two other people, surrounding a cooler of beer and surrounded by shimmering lake. where there is no other sound than your voices.
ive fished off a dock once. i forget how old i was, young, i suppose. and i forget who took me, but i think it was a group home counselor. i was with a few other kids, maybe five or six, but i dont think we knew each other very well. we were friendly and got along, but i get the feeling we never saw each other again. maybe it was some special occasion, where two different group homes got together for an outing. or perhaps it was just me who tagged along with another house as either a reward or a consolation. it doesnt matter, i know i was there.
we all hung our poles over the railing and— although with the gulls circling overhead and the traffic whooshing behind us, it wasnt very serene— it was fun. the counselor tried to teach us all how to throw a line but some people never really caught on, those kids would just let their bait dangle directly below the pier and stare at the dark water, hoping to see their floater get a tug. the rest of us would launch our lines as far as we could —this was actually a good portion of the fun— then reel them in and hope the worms could seduce a bite. as if the fish were cats and couldnt resist a chase.
this worked once or twice, there were a few small throwbacks hauled in. but no one caught the big one. the one we'd have to gut. we all just scurried around, getting or lines caught in knots, launching over the sea as hard as we could. after a few hours i guess we grew restless with it because suddenly we were all herded into a van and driven back to our temporary homes.
it was a good day, but it wasnt real fishing. it wasnt quiet and meditative and patient. no noiseless winds of nature. no old friends to sit silent with.
it could be that i have some sort of romantic notion of what fishing really is. this is probably true. but i dont care. i dont care. i want that afternoon. i want to go fishing. i want that sensation. i need it.