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I was fishing from a bridge, talking to a secretary when I said, “Hang on a minute. I’ve got a fish on the line,” and it felt like a big fish, but when I pulled it to the surface, it was a dog, a brown and white dog, like a St. Bernard, so I eased off the line and the dog swam away. I did not want to catch a dog.

“There must be fish in this stream,” I said to the secretary, because upstream, at the next bridge, the water was full of dead salmon that had swum inland from the great lake, spawned, and perished, eyes now gaping sockets, bodies in tatters, heads chopped from their bodies.

So I walked upstream to the next bridge, but when I got there the water was wide, deep, muddy green, almost overlapping banks thick with underbrush, unfishable. Just then a man in a suit like one James Bond would wear crossed the bridge. He said, “I know who you are.” It was the Gauze Man. “How did you recognize me?” I asked. I was wearing a hat; my head was bald. I looked so much older and different. Why hadn't he aged? And why was he on the bridge anyway? What happened to the Gauze Man?

The water flowed toward the lake, but time was running backward. Before seeing the Gauze Man and the dog under water, I was giving a tour and pointing out a bench where, in 1977, I sat in the spring sun one Saturday with Hoople, Sharon, and Nat E. Dread, breaking a law nobody seemed to care about before we crossed the street and played along the creek. Somebody had moved the bench—I could barely see it for the overhanging trees—but it still sat in sunshine.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 5th, 2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
You describe it all so well, it reads like a completely plausible story. I do wanna hear more about that sunny spot with the hope of being uncreeped. (Hey, if time can run backwards...)
Oct. 6th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
Can't help you there ...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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March 2017

Wish I'd Said It

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