Man and woman standing in creek, both wearing waders, holding fishing poles.
Woman: Oh, he’s a big fella.
Man: Where? Oh, he’s big.
The big fella swims deep, nosing the gravel of the creek bed with singular concentration.
Most of the time, that’s his whole world: gravel.
Man: What’s he looking for?
Woman: Periwinkles? May-flies?
Gravel, gravel, gravel. Rarely, something shiny or something bright catches the big fella’s eye and he leaves the creek bed and swims to the surface and there’s a small splash and a dragonfly disappears, or sometimes a lure of chrome or polished brass.
Incomplete list of shiny things that have caught the big fella’s attention:
- The phrase “better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt” (as a child);
- The idea of going through life without leaving any footprints (as an older child);
- Young woman in blue shirt eating a banana in a cafeteria (back in college);
- Falling stars;
- Heat lightning;
- Certain people;
- The phrase, “as you live your days so do you live your life” (somewhat recently);
- The phrase, “your problem is you think you have time” (more recently)
Man: Where’d he go?
Woman: Into that shady pool, I think.