In Search of the Giant Squid in All the Wrong Waters: Week 28
Friday, June 27, 2014, 3:51pm
Today, I searched for the giant squid in Jingle Lake, which is shaped like the hairpin curvaceous duct that connects the pancreas to the duodenum, and where the waters lapped more than jingled. For bait, I used an anorexic parsnip, which, this time thank god, I did not confuse for the highly toxic Cicuta bulbifera (post-ingestion symptoms of which include nausea, abdominal pain, respiratory impairment, kidney failure, irregular heartbeat, tremors, seizures and death), which did not do the giant oarfish (the object of 2012’s obsessive search) much good. I cast, and the crane flies lifted from the water and confused themselves with the flower flies. The hover flies finally touched-down and mated with the snow mosquitoes, producing an offspring both beautiful and ungodly. They looked as if they could hold anyone’s hair in place, even on a windy day. To attract the giant squid, I jiggled my lure to no avail, but at least the water dimpled in response. I thought about all the empty spaces into which I’ve shouted—wells and caves, sockets and grottoes, manholes, gulfs, the deep spines of so many bad books. Overhead, the sky revised empty, and filled itself with air. The molecules whirled, rewarded us and punished us as they always do: heartlessly. For a second, I thought I saw something crawl out of the water, but it was only more water. For a second, it looked like a child’s arm, the elbow new and fat. I reeled in. The parsnip was chewed down to nearly nothing. The size of a baby-tooth. The squid had returned to the depths. If I had a son, I thought, I would not name him after me.