The Graduates of Fly-Fishing School Sarasota, Florida, Class of July 13, 2013
There were Quaker parrots nesting in the palms off Midnight Pass Road as evening approached. In a repair shop parking lot, twenty tourists watched an experienced fisherman cast a fly back and forth toward the closed garage door, the line whipping in an elegant script s elongated to the snap of the rod, then pulled back, a wingspan of forty feet. The fisherman was in shorts and a t-shirt, and didn’t look the part of the fisherman. The tourists donned fly caps and some wore hip waders, all paying close attention to the stroke of the line. I caught only this glimpse as we drove past, on our way to the beach rental we’d procured for the week. This fisherman casting and pulling, casting and pulling, and a handful of the tourists mimicking the arm motions, so they all looked as though they were throwing fetch. That night a man who killed a teenager was acquitted, and outside the Quaker parrots continued squawking their shrill bleat, their nest enormous for the tree in which it rested. Fastidious builders, the nest seemed to almost tip from the tree with a breeze. I could only think about the tourists taunting a line to the birds. The fly hovering before them then pulled back. My boys in the room, preparing for bed. No doubt the Quaker parrots entered their dreams, cast there by invisible hands.