I guess I’ve been once before
I remember some poles, my grandpa,
a can of live pink worms
Maybe a boat or just standing over a bridge
And mostly I remember screaming and being very not into the idea of touching a worm to put it on a hook to catch a fish on said hook to then have to unhook and smell and look at and later eat
I was that kind of kid and yes, am still that kind of adult
My little sister did it though and I remember my grandpa being proud of her – not that he was upset or shamed me – he let me be and didn’t push it
My grandpa was a chef in the army during the Don Draper years, Korea
I remember watching him peel potatoes
So fast so efficient
And I remember loving his meals
My grandma was a good cook too but near the end they were both on the Richard Simmons deal a meal kick – a lot of good that did
Though I do love me some Richard
I was a kid, under 12, and wasn’t ready to see gore before dinner
I don’t remember if I caught a fish or if we ever went again
I think by the time my memory started filing things away both grandparents were dead (heart attack for one, six months later a swift suicide for the other) and I spent years, decades, waking up and remembering that fact over and over again
I remember fish fries though at the VA
And how much I liked being there the only kid
The only girl
Hearing these old men talk about what they’ve seen done and been through
And having them treat me like a 1950s lady
Buying me Shirley Temples
Jesus no wonder I cry at Mad Men episodes and hold that show as sacred not profane
The best part besides being there as grandpas girl
Was that the fish didn’t taste like fish
Which of course goes a long way with someone who was grossed out by the food chain
Breaded fried battered and unrecognizable

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