The alarm on my flip-phone buzzes in my ear. It’s 4:30 AM on a misty musty morning in June, 2004. I crawl out of bed in the upstairs room of my parents’ summer home in Little Compton, RI. The old children’s rhyme that my father taught me is still echoing in my head as I look out the window at the fog: “It was a misty, musty, morning / and cloudy was the weather / a chance to see an old man all clad in leather…” After black coffee and baked beans, I wade through the morning darkness in the garage to find my fishing pole, bait, and skateboard. It’s time to fish.
A sleepy ride takes me to my sanctuary: the cove next to Church Point. It’s small, only about a mile from tip to tip, and it faces across the Sakonnet inlet towards Middleton and Portsmouth, Rhode Island. I pick my way through rocks, trash, and seaweed barefoot across the beach searching for a promising patch of water and a suitable beach-camp.
Week old clams reek as they thaw on my cutting board (skateboard). I chop one up, thread a hook through it, and cast my fishing line deep into the grey. With my line set and a nice rock to lean on, I hunker down with cautious anticipation, hoping for a splash or a twitch in the fishing line.
But it almost never happens. I sit in this cove every morning hoping for a fish, and in the entire summer I’ve caught one. They have to be out there. That’s where they live. And I guess for now, in the mornings, this is where I live. Fog slowly drifts out across the ocean and the sun creeps over my back. Sunshine hits my feet first, and I clamber out from the shadow of my rocky hideout to get some more. I smell salt and rotting seaweed, I hear the waves brush against the rocks. It’s not a bad place to be, and if the fish don’t like my hook today, well that’s just fine.