I hadn’t been night fishing since I was nine or ten. I’d fallen asleep in the middle of our 14-footer, and I remember waking up to the bright stars spread out wide around us, my father at the motor behind me, my uncle’s cigarette lit up at the bow. What were we fishing for? I don’t know, but I remember feeling like a rebel – out past my bedtime, the dark ocean engulfing us in our smallness.
We went night fishing again this Sunday, leaving as the rain started pelting huge white drops on the pavement. “It’ll let up,” Dad said, even though of course he had no idea.
We followed him anyway.
Down to the marina, across the wobbly dock, into the boat my grandpa bought in the ’80s. The floor’s starting to give-way, but we cruised out of the channel, me in a backwards Red Sox cap to both contain my hair and make me feel like I was actually fishing.
There are things that overwhelm you. The ocean is almost always one of those things for me.
And sometimes, you want to talk about that overwhelmed feeling. Your girl friends sit across from you and plumb the depths of your mind and soul. They ask questions and you question yourself and you hope that no innocent bystander is listening to your crazy.
And other times you don’t want to talk about it at all.
Sometimes being on the boat with your dad and your brother is the perfect place to be quiet and thoughtful and melancholy and not be asked why. And a backwards Red Sox cap is exactly what you should be wearing.
[We caught a fish at the same time, not big enough to keep but big enough to sore my shoulder and bruise my rib where the rod was sticking – I am tender. The fins were sharp but stripers don’t bite, and I was proud.]