"Would you be interested in going fishing?"

Ty's question lit up the screen of my iPhone, which was sitting in front of me. I could tell you that I rationally responded to his text.

But that is not the case. 

Instead, I eagerly clamored for my phone. Which, let me remind you, was only six inches away.

"I'm definitely interested," I shot back, practically throwing my phone back onto my desk. Not two seconds later, I grabbed it again, fumbled, recovered, fumbled again, recovered again, and finally managed to hammer away at the screen. 

"I haven't gone fishing in a looooong time, which means I'll probably stab myself with a hook. And then catch you under the eyelid." 

"Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves," he texted back.

"You're right. I meant to say I'd catch MYSELF under the eyelid."



"Let's not get ahead of ourselves."

Ty was right, of course. Because, after our fishing excursion, I walked away with only eight bug bites, a painful sunburn, and a hole in my index finger where I had pierced it--not stabbed it--with a hook.

"See? No one got a fish hook to the eyelid," he said.

I glared.

He glared.

"Uh huh."


And then I poked him, and then he poked me, and then we both laughed and pretended we weren't going to continue poking each other for another 23.4 seconds.

Four days later, my skin is still in limbo--nearly peeling, but nearly healing. And my bug bites, especially the vampire bite-looking one on my shoulder, are still raw. But I still had a fabulous time. It was me. Ty. His mom. His grandfather. We cast our lines into a pond on the outskirts of Evansville and snagged twenty-eight bluegill in just over an hour and a half.

We took them all--save for the bass Ty threw back--and put them in a bucket under a mound of ice. And we put the bucket in the back of the truck--with the poles and the tackle boxes--and piled in. Me. Ty. His mom. His grandfather. The leftover worms. The chirping crickets.

Back at the house, I documented the carnage Ty and his grandfather created. I watched as his grandfather carved out one side of a fish, then the other, tossing the scaly carcass into the trash. Ty separated the meat from the bone, never catching himself (as I would've done). And there were bellies full of roe, and hearts that had forgotten to stop beating, but I watched. This is what my ancestors had done, and what my ancestors' ancestors had done. And so I watched.

And then I ate. We all ate.

It was a damn fine day, really.

And so, with sunburned skin and an eager curiosity, I'm waiting for Ty to ask me once more, "Would you be interested in going fishing?"

Many, many thanks to Ty's mom for providing the above four photos! As you can see from the image on the top-right, my idea of "going fishing" is to catch five fish and then take photos of everyone else doing all the work. 


  1. wow! you guys caught a lot of fish!

  2. Yay fishing!! My dad used to bring me a lot before I went off to college. I really miss it!


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