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This entry is starting in a different way. It’s starting with ink on paper. I don’t think I’ve really written something of substance on paper for years and that seems a bit odd. Writing in ink is permanent, you can't make changes and my penmanship is awful. I guess that’s what happens when you force a left handed person to learn to write with their right hand. Or maybe it’s part of the dyslexia.

I’m sitting in a meeting and in order to make it more bearable I decided to bring along a pad and pen. The meeting is full of messages about he company; where it is going, why things are happening, the motivations of the executive team. I’ve always been skeptical of things people tell me when they seem more like opinions than facts. I have a very critical ear. Just because you tell me they think something doesn’t mean I am going to believe them. I’ve been this way always. I remember being this way as a child and it’s served me well.

When my father took me fishing for the first time it wasn’t in an ocean, river or lake; it was in a dirty cement duck pond. I grew up a few blocks from El Dorado park, the largest park in LA county. The section of the park I frequented most had the local library and a very murky duck pond. The water in the pond was so murky that anything deeper than a few centimeters was completely hidden from view. I think that nasty muck was actually crap from the hundreds of ducks that found refuge on the island in the center of the pond. I was always amused at the signs stating there was no swimming allowed in the pond. Who would want to swim in something that looked like a mixture of miso soup and cottage cheese.

I had gotten my very first fishing rod and my dad decided he couldn’t wait to teach me to fish. My brother had his rod and I had mine. My rod was Bright orange and yellow, it had a giant handle with the words Fisher Price. My dad bated my hook and helped me cast my line into the nasty waters below. After a while there was a tug on my line. I began to reel it in, but I wasn’t strong enough.My dad had to take over the job of reeling in my catch. He also had a bit of trouble reeling in the beast, I was worried my plastic rod would break from the way it was bending. Eventually I saw something in the murk, to my eyes it was huge. As the giant catch broke the surface my excitement turned to disappointment. What I had caught was a beer can. My dad pulled it off the hook set it down on the pavement and went back to baiting my line again so I could try again.

My disappointment turned into hope as I looked into the opening of the can. The water inside was dark and nasty. In my imagination I saw a little fish hiding from the other fish in his little beer can home, so I picked up the can, and started to pour it out so I could catch my fish. I had only managed to dump a small amount of the sludge onto the concrete when my dad realized what I was doing, “What are your doing? You are making a mess, stop that!” he demanded. Being the stubborn kid I was, I kept the can turned upside down and responded with a very insistent, “But there could be a fish in here!” My dad was about to get angry at me for making a mess all over the sidewalk, “There is not a fish in there!” He was about to continue to say something else but he was stopped by the appearance of a tiny brown minnow that splashed on the to concrete and started to flop around. My dad’s anger had turned to laughter. I had caught my first fish and it was practically smaller than the hook I used to catch it!

We quickly got the little guy into a cup of pond water. He remained my favorite fish in the fish tank. I liked him more than the giant gold fish, or the neon tetras that glowed, because I had caught him. I was the one who knew he was there. He lived for quite some time in our fish tank.

Whenever I hear someone telling me something that they know, I wonder if maybe they are wrong, is there any possibility that there is a little fish who’s life could be saved by a little further investigation.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
et_blackbird
Aug. 29th, 2005 11:04 pm (UTC)
It's pieces like this, where you take the present and the past and bring the reader into the minutae of what makes a life, that make you one of my favourite writers.


Always follow your instincts and listen to that critical person inside. He led you right then, and will again and again.
sisyphus238
Aug. 29th, 2005 11:05 pm (UTC)
Do you have another meeting tomorrow?

My dad bated my hook
I had to laugh at this. You spelled it correctly later but before I got to that part I was wondering what exactly your father had said to that damn hook.
ewe_2
Aug. 30th, 2005 12:08 am (UTC)
I love your stories. You really should write a book.

:-)

D
singleentendre
Aug. 30th, 2005 01:39 am (UTC)
My brother had his rod and I had mine.

As soon as I read this I prepared myself for the part of the story where your brother stabs you in the shoulder with his fishing rod while your dad isn't looking.

Poor misunderstood brother.
ewe_2
Aug. 30th, 2005 12:53 pm (UTC)
Or his brother tossing him into the mucky water.

YUCK!

D
eclipse77x
Aug. 30th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC)
That's a really great story...and it even has a moral. Love it!
I also love writing poetry or journal stuff at boring meetings. Kudos to you.
ncsuj
Aug. 30th, 2005 01:55 pm (UTC)
That is a GREAT story!
romeohotel
Aug. 31st, 2005 03:22 am (UTC)
Heh.

Every time I listen to Nickleback's Photograph, I think about you, because of posts like this. Same kind of blending of past and present, kinda like twisting a . . . slinky.

Least I think that's the motion my hands were making as I tried to find that word.
misschinacola
Sep. 1st, 2005 12:50 am (UTC)
meetings suck
i love your first fishing story! so touching. hang in there at work.

btw, love your new design for your journal too!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )