My life's to-do list
header image

The Young Man and the Sea

“Then the fish came alive, with his death in him, and rose high out of the water showing all his great length and width and all his power and his beauty. He seemed to hang in the air above the old man in the skiff. Then he fell into the water with a crash that sent spray over the old man and over all the skiff.”   -The Old Man and the Sea

A moonless night hung over the sea giving the water an unnatural blackness. A deep, solid blackness. Intimidating and impenetrable. In contradiction to the lifeless overcast, I knew that there was an abundance of life under the dark blanket just below the small waves.

I cast my line, heavy from the squid who selflessly gave his own life to serve as a temptation for the creatures lurking under the sea. It splashed on top of the water and quickly disappeared. The weight of the squid pulled my line deeper and deeper into the depths, until there was no more sea to dive. Now, it was time to be patient.

This is when a man has the time to contemplate the small idiosyncrasies of life and death, to ponder, to slip into a lucid dream as he waits for the majestic sea creatures of the depth to cautiously take to his line. And that is what I did, as all men are to do when they wait. I thought. I dreamed. I drank a beer. The sweet malty taste contrasted to the overwhelming salty taste that had penetrated my taste buds. The beer was cold, refreshing and almost completely gone.

I needed another.

But I dared not move. I moved not for the fear of falling into the dark sea underneath my feet. I moved not for the anticipation of another quick jerk of my fishing pole. I sat motionless, waiting. Excitement overcame me. I could feel it quickly moving throughout my body. I had felt this feeling before, long ago. During a time I can’t quite remember.

I could sense a monster looking at my squid cautiously. Nothing had happened to the monster the last time he had taken a small bite of the squid. In fact, he remembers vividly the joy he felt the last time he had the taste of squid on his palate. It had brought him back to his days as a small child fish. It had brought him back to days when his father would be standing in the kitchen of the small two bedroom apartment that he and his twelve fish siblings lived cramped as if they were sardines living in a tin can. His father sautéing squid, just the way he liked it, with garlic and a little bit of olive oil. The fish’s mouth watered. He wanted another taste.

He took another small nibble. It was unsatisfying. He was not happy just to have a small piece. He wanted more, and he greedily took the entire squid into his mouth. A rush of euphoria overcame him, the same way euphoria rushes over a heroin junkie after he depresses the plunger to the syringe. Memories raced through his mind. The joy and happiness he had felt when he was a child fish have returned with that last bite.

That is when I moved. I yanked back on the pole and felt the added weight of my catch. Temptation had gotten the best of the monster, the same way it had gotten to Eve that day in the garden. My squid was the forbidden fruit. My hook was the snake.

A battle ensued, a battle that would test both the limits of my perseverance and the fish’s determination to live. He would pull, and I would allow him to run away if only for a second just to reel him closer and closer to the surface. We fought for what seemed like eternity. And in the end, I would win. But, it was a bittersweet moment when the fish had broken the surface tension of the water. I was happy to have won, but I felt much respect for my competitor. He had displayed courage and a willingness to live so strongly, I could not kill him. I would not kill him. He deserved to live.

He was a great warrior. He had earned my respect and admiration. I let him go… but not before I took a picture first to capture this historic feat.

A huge thank you goes out to three really cool people, Chandler, Briana and Michael. I probably would not have been able to complete this list item or at least had as much fun as I did without your instruction and patience. Your parents did an awesome job with you guys. I wish you the best of luck with everything you do in your life. And If you ever need any help with anything on your own list, let me know. I will see what I can do.

From left to right… Michael Couture, Briana Knop, Mr. Fish, Danny, Mr. Fish II, Chandler Knop.


No related posts.


1 Briana Knop { 12.08.10 at 3:32 AM }

thanks! hope we helped!
Ive started my own!(:

2 Danny { 12.10.10 at 2:17 PM }

I wanna see your list!

You must log in to post a comment.