When I was seven, my best friend was Les Harbin. Les lived on the other side of Baywater Drive and had this great pond behind his house. I’d grab my bamboo fishing pole and head across the street to go fishing with him. If his mom wasn’t home or if we were told we couldn’t go fishing, we’d ignore the lock on the fence that separated Les’ yard from the pond shore, climb the weeping willow tree and follow the branches across the fence. Once, I fell and landed clumsily on top of the chain link fence. I punctured my arm on the sharp prongs that ran along the top of the fence. I still have the scars to prove it.
And now I’m patting myself on the back for remembering that today is garbage day, and silently cursing cereal manufacturers for not putting enough raisins in my Raisin Bran. Two scoops my ass.
I’m having trouble coming to terms with my adulthood. I’d much rather be fishing with Les.
And I’m wondering what it means that these scars, these two white dots on my left arm, are my link to the past, to twenty five years ago. There’s something to that, soemthing that I can’t quite make sense of.
I haven’t heard from Les in twenty years. My sister sees his sister from time to time and she tells me that Les is a mechanic now. He took over the shop after his dad passed away. I wonder if he still has scars from nicking himself with his pocket knife. I wonder if they connect him to that pond, to those days when we’d fish for brim and crappie and worry about little more than the amount of sunlight that was left in the day.