I fish what time I can find to do so. I fish walleye with spinning gear and live bait since I love that angling too. I light the lantern just before the magic hour, its harsh warm light a beacon in the falling light, as I wait for a take. Waiting to hear the bells affixed to the rod tips sound over the blanket call of an untold number of frogs. I stay longer than I had intend to. I get no walleye but bring home two yellow perch, running with nothing but trucks along the passage of lonely highway down this late into the night.
I carry my gear around the back and as I come the resident peep frogs fall silent. Below the porch, well past midnight with a version of Moon River being played by the Cowboy Junkies on the radio softly, with a fillet knife cutting back into the flesh behind the gills, turning the blade and running it along the spine of the perch. At the tail, flipping the fillet backwards to expose the tender flesh within, and while holding the fish in place, running the knife down and just inside the skin. One perch, at fourteen inches, offers cheek meat, carefully extracted.
I cleaned the knives slowly below the head lamp. I dried them on an old green towel. I arch my back and stretch. The peep frogs have accepted me and resumed their calling and I am very hungry. I have used up all the days fuel. I am alone with the owls and the lesser drone of the highway down the hill. Even with the chain moving, the sound of the highway is different in these new times. Its ebb and flow some softer static thing that hushes through the nights where I live. I do not need to be a scientist to know that the air itself feels physically different to me. We are burning, collectively as a people, less of some fuels and hopefully more of others. The timid song of the highway proof of one. I am waiting to see the outcome of the other.
I will always want to know, after, how the bleeding hearts and artists saw things. What art will we push forth to anchor feeling, expression, and beauty to particular place and time? I view art with a simple lens, that which I like. A black raven woodcut piece, I always wanted one. What will be done with the crops we’ve been given?
In the morning, breading the fillets in panko and frying them crisp in the bacon grease. 2 scrambled eggs, toast and bacon. My son, when enjoying what he is eating, will make a small, short, satisfied, “Mm” sound. He makes a lot of them over that breakfast.