in dreams, i row boats across lakes, rivers, swamps and seas. sometimes, i’m up in the bow, my eyes on the line that divides the waters from the sky. sometimes, i’m back in the stern, mannin the rudder. other times, i’m lyin down in the hull with my head in the clouds.
almost always, i’m fishin. i’ve got a pole rigged up with my bait in the water. sometimes i jig that bait and sometimes i troll. sometimes i’m standin up, twitchin across water. sometimes i’m sittin down steady reelin.
i rarely catch a fish.
but when i do, it’s usually a big un. I catch catfish, striper, bass and carp. i catch snapper, grouper, bonita and amberjack. i catch salmon and halibut, tuna and flounder. I hook em and pull em straight up to the surface.
at's a keeper, i says to myself when they’re a decent size.
when they’re too small, i says, i b’lieve i’ll throw this’un back.
this one time, i caught myself a wild boar.
i didn't say jack shit that time.
i had dropped my bait down to rock bottom, reeled up twice and waited. that’s when my pole jerked down and my line started screamin. i hunkered down with the butt of the rod in my gut and cranked.
when i finally got the sunnabitch to the boat, i couldn’t believe my eyes.
most of the time, i row these boats alone. sometimes there might be somebody else on board: a friend, a relative, an animal. but usually, it’s just me.
but this one night, there were huddled masses with me. and i was looking at them and saying, over and over again:
i will ferry your souls to the land of dreams.