In Search of the Giant Squid in All the Wrong Waters: Week 35
Friday, August 29, 2014, 7:55am
Today, I searched for the giant squid in Shakey River, which is actually quite still, and arcs a tad too perfectly for my liking, like the painted-on right eyebrow of Ms. Pat, my fourth grade bus driver who was fond of providing us kids with such nuggets as, there’s no such thing as the giant squid, and your parents don’t love you, besides. I baited my hook with a post-coital garden slug that was lazing on the navel of an unwound fiddlehead fern. The slug did not scream in pain; made, in fact, no sound at all, just spun like one of those DNA windchimes until it could spin no further, and went slack, dreaming of cheap beer. I thought of basins and boughs, of other 26.2-mile long tributaries that, at their ends, recall nooses. The wind made a disaster of the bushes—the bunchberries, leatherwoods, meadowsweets, and hollies. In the center of their panic, the eyes of a grouse—another one hoping to escape the hunters. Leaves fell, having gone dead at their edges. The surface of the river ignored its own depth, and my hands forgot that, via so many thoroughfares, they were connected to my feet. Nothing took the slug, and the thunder didn’t quite roar so much as complain, forgetting that its noise was supposed to be giant, convincing itself—in the name of communion—that it was just another mediocre thing, orphaned by all that sky.