In Search of the Giant Squid in All the Wrong Waters: Week 27
Friday, June 20, 2014, 7:48am
Today I searched for the giant squid in Sante River, the waters of which are braided with the Otter and the Sturgeon. A confetti of black flies conversed feverishly about my blood and I felt both victimized and honored. If my full-body bug suit didn’t get so wet inside (spittle, sweat, snot, condensed breath), I would have worn it. Inevitably, I associated Sante with Saint, though the word means health, means (with drinks in hand) Cheers!, derives from the Latin sanitas, which refers to a soundness of mind. Swallowing the madness of the insects and regurgitating it as the sanest cast I could muster, I watched my lure arc like the lobe of a sound brain, and plop onto a lily pad, right between two coupling cricket frogs. No wonder they’re a threatened species in Michigan. I reeled in, reciting a prayer for warty skin, a healthy tadpole-hood, the herpetologist’s iteration of heaven. I sucked a strawberry lozenge. The frogs and the flies twitched together, harmonized. The fish and the otter exchanged fur for scale, re-birthed themselves and emptied into Lake Superior. I caught no squid and, therefore, made of its absence something saintly. It helps to remember that it’s easier to be a saint if you’re dead first. The flies descended and bit in. So be it, so be it, so be it… I was compelled to repeat, electroshock-therapeutically. The blood rose up, deluded with mania and Simuliidae venom. My heart ended every plea with the same word. It helps to remember that Amen is neurotic.