Alexander Michael Ziperovich

The two boys sit on a dock fishing before the glass surface of the lake. Under the approaching dusk they stare silently, every once in awhile adjusting the lines or imagining a jerk from the hook.

Reed lays on his back, setting his pole down next to him, its line still floating in the water moving with the wind, “The sky is pink and orange. I love the sky like this.” He pauses and closes his eyes seeing it all in his head, too. “Everything just kind of stops hurting, or it’s as if problems just melt away  into nothing. My favorite thing in the world. The sun setting I mean.” His friend sits as he was, unaffected by the other boy and his observations. Reed reaches deeper, he wants something, that his wonderful sky is perfect, “I mean, it’s more than that. It’s like…” His words fade into the nothingness between them.

A long silence and all that can be heard is the water, pressing up and pooling into and around the wooden legs of the dock and the groaning of the old dock under which the two boys sit, the sound of a man carrying his burden.

Reed lays on his back thinking of nothing but the sky. The beautiful foreverness of the sky. The colors all painted and the way it drips down like a tattered curtain made to reveal the stars and the moon and the universe. Nothing could be more hopeful to him.

The dock creaks loudly, “It’s ugly.” Beef pauses umoving, “Even horrible.”

The water sings with the dock as it gently moves it back and forth. The old dock creaks when it sways.

Beef turns back to the now darkened water, it beginning to find its luminescent reflection.

Again there is silence until almost everything is shrouded in night.

Reed quietly moans a small sigh of exasperation but says nothing. Beef continues, “The only beauty I know is the fish I won’t catch. This loss as a gift. The fish that never bite and yet we come here every day and try.” Beef sits motionless as the darkness expands becoming what was once the light. He has no choice and the darkness is all around him. He is connected to it the way the water has now become tethered to the moon above, a silent mirror gleaming and glowing and growing and silently howling. Beef is not gleaming, though. He can’t see it.

Reed breathes deeply, inhaling the reflected light within the darkness and the moon glows for him and he opens his eyes to it all and swallows the moon and a few stars.

3 responses

  1. So are you Reed or Beef? or do they represent the two halves of you and that Beef bringing the darkness that eventually consumes the light?

  2. This part stands out most for me “The only beauty I know is the fish I won’t catch.” “The fish that never bite and yet we come here every day and try.”
    I take it as Reed is optimistic and eager while Beef is the harsh realist longing for something that feels out of reach. They’re both the same person.

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