Aaron has taken Clara out fishing four or five times now and hears these three lines most often:
“Where’s her pole?” (To which Aaron replies, “She’s my netter.”)
“Heck of a way to babysit.” (Aaron: “Beats the building blocks.”)
and, “Get ‘em started early.” (Aaron: Agreeable nod.)
To celebrate our latest invented holiday, Marriage Day 2011, I did the unthinkable and accompanied Aaron and Clara on a fishing bonanza a mere hour and a half before we usually eat dinner. Sometimes you know things. That evening, I knew I was going to catch my first salmon but I didn’t expect it to feel so wonderfully primal.
Aaron gave me the “cast at 12 o’clock, feel it sweep the bottom, give it a yank” tutorial and I inched into the river in my waders and hung out with the guy from New Iberia, LA, and the other grump who would later yell at me to keep my line tight.
I felt the fish pull the line down, and the riverbank and the grumpy man and my new fishing friends faded away. It was just me and that muscle of a fish. I had to grip the reel with two hands and push the bottom of the pole into my stomach for support. We were fighting and, man, it feels good to fight a fight you know you’re going to win.
Though it does make you a bit evil. A bit too glad. He took my line down and I knew the depth of the river must have felt good to him. He must have briefly felt free. But I reeled him in closer and Aaron, with Clara on his back, followed the thrashing streak of silver down the river and scooped him up and gave him a good bonk. Then, we painted him with hoisin sauce and grilled him and dabbed the corners of our mouths and I tasted savagery and refinement all in the same bite.