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Continued Fishing 3

Continued Fishing 3

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Published by Skeitre

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Published by: Skeitre on Mar 19, 2010
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03/18/2010

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It was hot and they both sat at the side of a pond. They were fishing but, like is often thecase when fishing, they weren’t talking. Sometimes, the best thing to do, in any situation, is to just sit. Sit and not talk. Become and embrace the axiom about opening your mouth andremoving all doubt about your being a fool. Another axiom has to do with negotiation where, incertain situations, the one who talks first will lose. To just sit, sitting and not talking, but thinkingis a priceless thing. Fishing is the easiest time to do this. Partly and under the auspices of becauseyou don’t want to scare the fish, but more importantly and instinctively because both individualsknow it’s better not to talk. They think and they know, and they are satisfied. And nothing needsto be said. Questions are asked and answered in each one’s mind. Conversations had. Fishingallows a man to think and ask and answer all by himself since that is where the answers for thetruly important questions always come from. And that is why men like to fish - the seductive,sadistic and all too temporary allowance of being alone.And so they sat. They sat and fished, not talking. Each to his own, never unaware of theother - in fact, currently thinking about the other and answering the questions he would ask theother, expounding upon the facts known to him presently, using logic and deductive reasoningand speculation, speculation of the wildest form, rationing out and pondering various probabilities of extremes on each end of the possibility spectrum.Presently, one decided the reason the other divorced. He, the other, had had suspicionssince shortly after they met. She had told him that there weren’t any others and proclaimed anundying love for him, but he knew better - or he thought he knew better. He suspected andcreated wild scenarios with her and the others and thought about hiring someone, and thoughtabout taping somehow and doing some things on his own but never did, but it was always thesmile and proclamation that kept him from acting on his suspicions. Always that proclamation. Itwas not the proclamation, but the thought of what it meant, or might mean, that was what kepthim coming home after the nights when he would leave. He hated to see the bruises and cuts of his own unremembered doing. He hated to see the battered smile and the thought of her beggingfor forgiveness. He hated how he felt inside. She deserved it, he thought, but that could never alleviate nor justify the woman pain of the cuts and bruises. She was far more forgiving than hewas, but his stomach wrenched every time he saw her. But they likely divorced for that, the onethought. Then he thought of his own thoughts back then. He thought of the drunken nights whenshe looked at him. He thought about how that would be and how he could never face his friendthen. And he thought about the one night when she had clearly gone too far. She was drunk, hethought, but then, so was I. He figured if it was him, he’d have to forgive her, but not his friend.Or maybe he would. He studied that for an indeterminate time, then fished some more andchanged his bait.The other was contemplating his own scenarios and questions and answers, mostly abouthis friend, then said he thought it was time since there were no more bobber quivers like therewere to begin with, to change bait. He reeled in his line and found an empty hook. The fish hadtaken the bait, piecemeal, and left the hook wanting for more, as even they as fish knew would becoming. He went about the business of reweighting his line and adding fresh bait. And he sat. He
 
sat and thought about his friend some more. The other remembered. Did that really happen? Shewas drunk, but so was I. I don’t remember. He thought he couldn’t remember but he knew hewasn’t really trying. He didn’t want to remember. And after that, remembering or notremembering, he never looked the other in the eye with the conviction he had the privilege of doing before. He tried, and would smile and laugh and comment and reply but was always tryingto erase and ignore it though he knew he never could, even not fully remembering. So he kept onwith the charade, hoping time would erase it all, or rather, hoping that starting over - in his ownmind, since he did not know whether the other knew or not - would somehow alleviate the guiltand pain and betrayal. Part of him had hoped that the other knew about them, and was willing toforgive. And, again, he thought about who or if he would forgive were the roles reversed.As fact, the other did know. And he sat and fished and made small talk as if he didn’tknow, but he knew. Part of him relished the fact that the other did not know that he knew. Hewould not turn loose of that for all the world. It was the only card he had on the other andinstinctively could not and would not give it up. But still he fished. And even though he didn’tknow for sure, he knew. So he gambled a little on that presumption, and even thought about howhe could possibly be wrong, and the fairytale possibilities, because there were some who wouldnever do such things. He was pretty sure, however that she and he were not of that ilk. And theother thought about that too, about he should not be of that, but was. He wrote it off, butshamefully and hopefully chose to stow the entire full thought away, perhaps out of fear, or fear of confrontation, but it was easier to stow it away. He knew. They knew. And as the other triednot to remember, so, too, did this one. But neither could forget despite both pretending not toknow. So they fished. They sat in that turmoil of silence that becomes so unbearable that it must be broken for all the tumultuous thoughts that pervade. They sat and fished and said nothing untilthe silence required being broken by some small slice of insignificant reality.Then as one was silently forgiving, the other was silently repenting. It was nothing either had thought of as new, but rather became or evolved into or acquiesced to an instinctive mandate.They simply sat and fished and accepted. A man will kill for who steals his food or bothers hisfamily, but when it is someone he knows, he must choose. And he usually chooses againstviolence, but though he thinks and fantasizes about killing and torture and retribution in his ownmanner which is justified by his own hypocritical morality - for he who is doing the killing or retribution is yet just as void of morality in his vengeance than the victim of his justice is in hisguilty act - he does not realize this and casts out and says nothing.One then said that it was getting late and they both agreed. Each pulled their lines fromthe water without purchase and neatly tied their tackle and hooks. Finishing fishing is asurrender, regardless of whether or not anything was caught. It is either a prideful or anacceptable surrender, but there is that time when you must quit. Every fisherman knows this andaccepts this as one accepts most things people don’t want to accept, with sadness andinevitability and some meager hope. Finishing without catching anything is a greater surrender.Proverbially, one thinks about next time, but it cannot be immediately forgotten that there was noluck today though he tries and thinks about why there were none today, attaching insignificantthings as if they were significant, offering reasons like the weather, or location. They bothrealized though, as fishermen, that days without fish are just as likely as anything and so were not
 
completely disappointed and both had the patience of fishermen. It was that patience that comesalways, when learned from nothing other than fishing, where if there is no patience, there is not afisherman. Both had known, however remembered or learned or not, that patience is more than avirtue, it is necessary and essential for everyone that is human and they both knew with some ageand perhaps even youthful wisdom, that time eventually cures everything that matters no matter what pain.They went fishing again. And they continued in the same fashion, not talking, butanswering their own questions about each other, forgiving and repenting, alternating and intandem and changing bait and casting together because they were friends, but they still did nottalk because that would most certainly scare the fish.

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