I was in Michigan that summer, right before everything seemed to change. I found a good spot for fishing and that was good for three days and on the fourth day I woke up and Bill, a big Ojibwa from the peninsula was there at the bank with his rod in the water.
I didn’t think much of it until I got home and told Kelly about it and she asked me why I didn’t ask Bill to move along because she knows that when a man finds a good spot to fish, you don’t move in unless invited and anyways maybe I wanted to be alone.
“I wouldn’t mess with Bill” I said. “He’s a big guy.”
“Would you mess with a little guy?” she asked.
“No, you’re right, I do not generally mess with anyone to be honest.” I didn’t tell her about what happened in St. Louis and anyway that’s not who I was anymore.
We sat in silence for a while and drank our beer and watched the fire.
“You know” I said. “The way you picked apart that little nuance of our language, I think you would make for a good stand up comedian because that’s what they are frequently doing.”
“But sometimes they tell more personal stories, do they not?”
“Yes, but sometimes they do not and rely more on humorous wordplay or joke construction.”
We watched the fire some more and I felt sick because I remembered Jane and how she had run away that morning to Paris and wasn’t coming back.