It was the wee hours of the morning. It was the beginning of fall in Michigan, which means it will have been summer for a month more everywhere else. Will sat on the ledge of the concrete bridge at Horse Island fishing. We had on our winter hats and drank the sugar they called coffee from the gas station vending machine. Joe and I laid in the grass about 50 feet away from the bridge. We were sadistic little buggers. We wanted to hunt and kill something. We had laid out a blanket of popcorn I had gotten from my work at a theater to attract the ducks. We laid in the darkness with blowguns for the ducks to cross. They eventually did. We shot darts, and some landed, only to be shaken from the feathers immediately as the ducks took off.
Joe used to catch fish and make them smoke his cigarettes. We would sit on that concrete ledge and talk about the deepest things we could. Joe would torture that fish, but it always swam away. Me and Will would look at him and shake our heads, then laugh. Because Joe was always Joe.
We were terrible fisherman. We rarely caught a thing. But the times that one of us did, we would put it in the video store dropbox. We would always imagine their faces when they got to work. A copy of Porky's, Final Destination, On Golden Pond, and a wreaking fish still moving. We wanted to change a person's day.
I think if you were to ask us then what the hell we were doing, we would have told you that we wanted to rock everyone out of the boat. People get up and eat breakfast, then go to work and sleep until they can do it all again. I'm not sure that is really living life. I didn't believe it then and I still don't. We wanted to make a person think about something other than what they always think about. We wanted people to see something they haven't.
Maybe we just wanted to be heard. I don't know, we were teenagers. We thought the world was supposed to yield to us, and serve to keep us safe. We were young and stupid. The world yields for no one. There is no rest. There are no exceptions. We are human and humans are made to suffer.
They went and I stayed. I don't regret it. I won't follow them there. I am lit up entirely by my wife and children. I have what they didn't see they also had... Hope. I won't speak much of their kids here, but they are beautiful. They are the most loving children I've encountered. I think I'll make it my job to keep them that way.
Thanks for reading...Z