Hooked!

A mouthful of Lexington air. Such good memories.

I am going fishing for the very first time. Curious to understand the magic that I never got to experience: to hook a fish and throw it back. Fishing seems a weird hobby to me.

I certainly would not like it myself if an enormous creature seduced me with a piece of sashimi, and pulled me up when I started eating. And while I was kicking up in the air, choking and fighting for my life, he would take my picture and investigate me, and finally threw me back on the street. Leaving me with a near-death experience and a lifelong trauma.

Maybe it is time to be realistic though. Trout, salmon, catfish, monkish, barracuda, snapper;  I love eating them. And those fish did not end up on my plate magically. And have been caught in far more aggressive ways.

Chinatownfish

If I like to eat my fish, the least I can do is try to catch one instead of investigating them in the local supermarket.

The trip starts at one of the local bait shops: I have never been in one and they sell all kinds of cute, bright-colored, rubber pieces of bait in the shapes of little fish and worms.  The shop’s dark corner  is at the back: a collection of living worms, minnows, and crickets. The helpful employer shows us around. We leave and our just-purchased worms and minnows disappear into the fishing kit at the back of the car. Their last trip.

An hour later we arrive at a fishing pond.  We are told that the pond is full of trout and magic catfish and  it will only be a matter of time and luck before we can hook one. Oh- Oh.

catfish

A  worm gets hooked on my line, and I throw it out. And wait. Move a bit. Wait again. I Feel a tiny movement at the end of my line. A fish. Should I let him nibble on my worm and swim away with a snack, or do something? I decide to unleash the predator in me and pull in. A real fish on my hook, moving around, thinking he is going to die. Monstrous me!  I caught a fish!

Slowly, I get more used to the idea. The slow process of fishing, having  lots of time to contemplate what I have just done, is giving me time to adapt to my new identity as a torturer. I learn how to handle my worms and catch another fish. We make eye contact. I promise her that next time, when our roles have changed, and I am a fish and she is a human, that she can catch me.

fishing

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