I was down at that bridge again. It was dark and it was rainy and that’s why I was there. Young couples put on their prom best and stand on that bridge when the sky is bright with sunshine, but the fish only swim under the bridge when it’s dark and raining and I wanted to be ready. My flashlight didn’t work and the waves were intense, and the shoreline was battered and the bridge was slippery. I didn’t see any fish that night and the night that followed it was the same. Me and the bridge, both slippery and wet and there were no fish. I never stayed long, but I had to stay long enough for my eyes to adjust to the dark and it seemed that from the time my eyes adjusted to the time I was substantially wet from the rain and cold from the air, I had maybe twenty minutes in total to look. It went like that for years and the years turned into decades and it was just me and the bridge. Now I’m back at the bridge and it’s raining and it’s dark but I’m older and I’m careful not to slip. My flashlight is brighter but my eyes are dimmer, so I figure those even out and nothing much has changed, though I must admit the appeal of shivering in the dark has waned. If I could get down there again tomorrow I think I might see a fish or two. I haven’t seen one for years because the wind blows and the Bay churns and the fish hide in the waves, riding them from side to side and back and forth, like the sharks that swim amongst the surfers in the pacific ocean. The waves blow into the creek and under the bridge and I’m standing there but I can’t get the flashlight to work and my eyes haven’t adjusted just yet. Tomorrow might be better, because I’ll bring a new flashlight and if tomorrow isn’t better then I’ll just have to wait until next fall. After waiting this long, another year shouldn’t matter. The bridge will still be there and I still won’t be able to see the fish.
(I’m working on a series of short “stories” for the new magazine, so get ready to see a few more of these, for better or worse.)