7 April 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max

We went fishing yesterday on our friend Jesse’s boat in the Sacramento River. Jesse caught a couple of stripers and let Enzo reel them in, to the intense delight of both of them. They looked pretty big to me, but Jesse threw them back.

I sat in the bows, cushioned by life-vests, rocked by the water. Time passed in a new way. I forgot about time, almost like being asleep. Clouds and tall downtown buildings, the I Street Bridge, the mouth of the American River, all these familiar things looked fresh and different from the water.

Enzo sorted through his tackle box, showing Jesse a piece of mouse tail, a neon yellow plastic lure, some salmon eggs, and Jesse let Enzo look at his tackle. Jesse’s son Nico, about to turn three, opened a jar of stink bait and held it up to Enzo’s nose and Enzo pretended to die, collapsing across Teresa’s lap in limp abandon. And they did this again and again and again. Then they took turns casting off the side with a small rod and no hook, cast and reel, cast and reel, cast and reel.

It was one of those days that you know are good while they’re happening. Afterward we were strangely, limply tired. And last night I slept the whole night through.