My cousin Andrew asked me one afternoon if I wanted to go fishing. I am not the biggest fisherman, but I had nothing else to do so I went with him anyway. He took me to this place that he called his “secret fishing hole.”
Now I said I wasn’t much of a fisherman. I’m wearing athletic shorts, a cutoff t-shirt, and flip flops. Andrew is wearing fishing shirt and all the clothes that make him look like he’s a professional fisherman. I look totally out of place considering that I don’t even own a fishing pole.
Anyway at Andrew’s secret spot, it looks like there’s no way possible that any life could live in it. The water is dirty and murky. I just want to stay on the dock and fish, but he insists that there is a huge fish out there that he wants to catch. So he walks over to a boat that’s rusty and old and turns it over and puts it in the water. I’m terrified of this boat and the road that were headed down on this trip, but he convinces me to get inside.
The boat wobbles every time that Andrew rows out towards the middle of the pond. This thing is going to turn over and we’re going to have to swim back to the dock, I thought to myself nervously. He stops paddling and we start casting out.
We were out there for a couple of hours or so we just sit there casting and reeling and trying to keep the boat upright. We crack some jokes the way we always do between each other until I get a nibble on the line. I set the hook and start reeling this fish in that feels like it’s going to pull me in if I didn’t pull him out. It gave a fight that didn’t last long, but it was a fight nonetheless. I thought I had caught the fish Andrew was looking for, but this fish was about a foot long and maybe weighed three pounds.
Not the fish, but I needed to let this one go. Now, I don’t like fish. I don’t like touching fish. I don’t like the smell of fish. It is one of the reasons I don’t like fishing, but I have to get the hook out. The problem though is that this fish has swallowed the lure. While I’m holding this fish, it’s thrashing around, trying to get away, the lure was poking me in the hand and cutting up my knuckles. The only thing I can think of is all the microbes of getting into the cuts into my hand from the muddy water.
I finally get the lure out and let the fish go. My fingers are cut up pretty bad and Andrew decides to head back in to take care of it. As he starts paddling towards the dock with the oar as old as the hills, he hits a stump under the water and it breaks in half. Now we’re in the middle of this pond in this old rusty boat, with a broken oar, a bloody hand, and Andrew just casually mentions the two or three alligators that live in the pond.
We start paddling back with our hands with the thought stuck in the back of our minds of gators. I’m just hoping that if my hand does get bitten that it’s intact enough to beat the crap out of Andrew. As we make it back to the dock and clean my hand up, Andrew has the audacity to ask me if I want to go back out.
My answer wasn’t no, but “hell no,” and I haven’t fished with Andrew ever since.