Fly Fishing With a Couple of Old Buddies

He started on the trip to the
cottage and along the rutted,
rocky road on the left and
the right he was faced with
horrific sights from his past
— one shame-filled, shivering
moment after another — the
little dog pleading, Why
were you so mean?, his
late wife holding up the list
of complaints about his
behavior, the friend holding
the note asking for a word
of support never answered.

He could go on but he
tried to look straight
ahead. Enough.

He didn’t want to go to
the cottage where Dante
and the Devil waited ready
to fly fish for trout (his
favorite pastime and they
knew it), catch and release,
of course, and then say to
him — you can check out
but you can never leave with
a nod to the Eagles, their
favorite 70’s rock group.

The candidates and speech
makers looked so good and
nice and were such good
people who loved their kids
and who were always there
when needed as attested by
their beaming spouses and
children.

He looked across the room
and asked his wife if she
had things in her life for
which she felt ashamed.
Sure. Name one. Give me a
minute. Okay, she said after
twenty-four hours of consider-
ing. I sent a note of condolence
to a former employee when her
husband died but I should
have done more. That’s it?

Dear, do you know where
my waders are? I’m going
fishing with a couple of
old buddies.

I think you’re nostril deep
in self-pity already, dear,
she said.

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