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Ballast

June 26, 2018

He had been surprised at the invitation. However, he understood little about the activity at hand, even though he had from time to time engaged in it years ago.

It had been explained, slowly, with a level of patience and careful verbiage that went well beyond impressive, that patience and quiet were required. This was what one was expected to do: Sit quietly and be patient. You could drink, however. Beer was the choice today.

He had noted that neither quiet nor patience were really strong suits for him, which had prompted, “Well, then. This is a good time to stretch those muscles.”

That had been ten minutes ago. Ten minutes of silence. Ten minutes that to him had seemed like yet another eternity. Alone with his thoughts, well, the beer probably wasn’t helping.

As soon as he began to utter a syllable, “So–”

He had been cut off immediately, as if the probably seventh or more probably eighth interruption of the quiet, he had lost track, had not been unexpected. “Can you go get us some more beers from the cooler?”

He glanced at the cooler. He could barely make it out, a red and white dot, over on the bank of the lake. The boat had drifted further from shore than he had noticed.

He then glanced at the sides of the boat the two of them sat in. He reflected for a split second on how he’d always been more earthy, maybe with some fire, and expected his match was more water or air or both than he.

He set down his fishing pole, sighed and said, “Yep. Back in–”

He was cut off again, “Take your time.”

He took off his jacket and climbed out of the boat and made his way to shore.

—-

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