I see the boy fishing. I watch from a distance.
He is at the lake near our house. He is fishing
for bass, smallmouth bass. He is very precise
with his casts and he lets the spinner sink
a while before he begins the retrieval. He is
alone. I wonder if he is in solitude or loneliness.
Maybe a bit of both. When we fish together,
it is invariably in the evening for catfish — big
channel cats. We put cheesy dough around the
hook and cast as far as we can, let the dough
ball sink to the bottom and wait in the dark
for a tug. We can’t see each other in the dark.
The boy doesn’t speak much if at all. It is almost
as if he is not there or by himself. I wonder if he
is in solitude or loneliness. Maybe a bit of both.
I watch him, now, a grown man fly fish the
tumbling waters of Boulder Creek. His casts
are precise. The fly drops exactly where he
aimed it. Rhythmically he works the rod and
line, stripping the line and watching it all
run off the end of the tip. It flies alone like he
fishes alone. It is a quiet sport for a quiet man.
As I watch him I wonder if he is in solitude or
loneliness. Maybe a bit of both.