On The Water
Bascally.”Where’d you leave your car?”On Route 404, on a clearing, on the sideMight get yourself towed.You don’t thnk I know thatLsten rend, why don’t you come to my place, I’ll gve youa ride to your car…this way you won’t get towed.”y’s head throbbed and his lower back ached. All he couldthnk o was lyng down and closng hs eyes. “Can I have amnute?Sure,” the man said.y took a ew deep breaths. He thought or a moment about theclose-by ﬁshng holes. It would be close to lunchtme by the tmehe got to any o them; crowds, oggers, dog walkers, screamngkids would all be in full swing.You know the reason I trudged all the way up here?” Ty asked.“You know why I scouted out ths lake? Because, I ﬁgured Io the work, if I can be a trailblazer and ﬁnd a spot that nobodyelse has the commitment and dedication to ﬁnd and get to, thatmaybe I’d be rewarded wth ﬁve mnutes o peace and quet!”Lsten rend…No, you listen! Do you know we have a lake near my housethat I can’t even ﬁsh?” Ty spit again in the dirt. “I pay out mylungs n taxes but I’m not allowed to ﬁsh n a lake n my owntown because I ddn’t buy close enough to be part o the ‘LakeCommunity.’ You know I have to buy a permit to ﬁsh a postage-stamp-sze bank on the rez n the town I grew up n? I can’t ﬁnda ﬁshng spot where the Canada Geese aren’t ed whte breaduntl they are about to explode! Now, ater hkng through amaze of sticker bushes and poison ivy, I’m kicked out again!”Lsten rend, I’m sorry,” the man sad.Do you ﬁsh?” Ty asked.I do. I’m a ﬂy ﬁsherman. It’s my passion.Wait a minute,
. What are you rich or something?Fgures! The world s or the rch, a guy lke me gets JACK.Come on now. I worked or what I have.Doing what?I don’t think that’s any of your business.Yeah OK,” Ty sad. “So I ddn’t spend my le cheatngpeople out o ther le savngs then I don’t have a rght to enoythe beautiful places in the world.Lsten rend, I have what I have because I earned t. I ownths land, and I can tell you to leave. It’s not anythng personal.”Listen I know you think this is yours, because you boughtit, but it’s not yours! I don’t care what the law says, it doesn’t
to you!I agree, but I do have the rght to protect t rom people andgarbage and that’s what I intend to do. If there is one lake leftunpolluted and not ﬁshed-out, then let it be on my land, let itbe my lake. That’s the way I want t, and I’ve earned the rghtto protect ths place.You know what? You’re ust as full of it as anyone. Let meuess, you made your money by manuacturng BS consumer oods, rght?The man did not respond.“I bet you’ve taken your pound of ﬂesh out of the environ-ment, more so than any poor slob that leaves behnd a batcontaner.”“Sounds like sour grapes to me,” the man said.“It is! My grapes have soured long ago…in fact my grapesare rancd! Look, I don’t care to be rch. My we and I don’tneed anythng more than what we need. The only wealth I needis places like this, to come and spend a few hours ﬁshing. Butno, the beautul places lke ths are squatted upon by the rchpeople that shut out us guys. Fne. I’ll ust hke out o here theway I came n.“Come on now, why don’t you come back with me and havea cup o coee?“No thanks.“Well, at least let me give you a ride down to your car.Ty thought for a moment. “OK, I’ll take the ride.As Ty walked the tral away rom the cove, he kept an eye onhe water. Small areas called to hm – a corner o deeper water on the banks wedged between boulders, a spit of water crowdedwith lilies, a submerged log about four feet from the bank inabout three eet o water that begged to be ﬁshed.“You know, people are the only lvng thngs that pollute, thatcreate garbage.” the man said as they walked. “Garbage doesn’toccur n a lake naturally.”Ty dd not respond, he ust kept walkng, thnkng aboutettng to hs car as ast as possble.“Where do you usually do your ﬁshing?” the man asked.“Places by where I lve, that I can get to quck early n themornng. I have a amly, so I ﬁsh when they are asleep. I’m usu-ally up at 4 a.m. and out before all the joggers and dog walkers.“So, you’re ﬁshing right in the middle of everything?”“Yea, n magnﬁcent suburba!”“That has to be tough. You ever catch anythng?”“I got a six-pounder out of Garrettson’s Pond last July.“Really!“Yea…scum roggn! And I got another three ﬁve-pounders outo Blues Lake, and I got three bonaﬁed ﬁve-pounders out o theBig Ol’ Rez so far this summer too…and a seven-pound hybridstper…so I’m havng a pretty good season.”“That’s mpressve! I wouldn’t even thnk there were any ﬁshleft in those waters, especially the hybrids. I thought they’d allbe gone by now.“Oh they’re there, you ust gotta work your ass o the get ‘em.”The two men kept walkng. Ty began to regret hs tantrum.“You know what?” Ty said. “I would just once like to walkup to a pond or lake and not see runaway snot weed from allhe ertlzer runo, or ﬁshng lne and bobbers hangng romrees lke Chrstmas balls. That’s the problem, and that’s whyIm so angry.“I understand,” the man said. “What isour name by the way?”“You know,” continued Ty, “It justseems, no matter what, I end up seeingmore o what I don’t want to see and lesswhat I’m lookng or.”“Not me,” the man said. “I see miraclesach time I’m by my lake. My lake is myhurch. For me, ths s the secret o le.Ths s brth, le, death, and renewal.”“o I’m excommunicated…I’m notallowed to be here? I’m not part of your hurchSlence regned over the two men. A-er a short walk they approached a largeottage-style home.“Ths your place?” Ty asked.
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