Dad casts first, showing me how it’s done. Go on you can do it, remember to flick your wrist. I fumble with the rod, the wet composite of carbon and steel slipping between my fingers, unable to liberate the plastic string from the reel. I fling it forward. A spear in the wind, the hook propelled towards my goal. A fish.
He tells me that all men need to know how to fish. Fishing is a man’s sport, patience and calm. Then we wait, boat rocking, ripples of water crashing against the side of the boat. The sun sleeping behind its thick gray blanket. My father whistles. I feel sick but he tells me it’ll pass.
The rod jerks and I pull back. It jerks again and I tug harder. You got him. My stomach lurches, his cheers louder than the peel of thunder in the distance. The pain in my gut rises in my throat as my father tells me to lean back, but my buttery waffles are coming back up. I drop the rod and it sinks, disappearing beneath the murky blue water, and I throw up on my feet. Maybe you aren’t a fisherman; maybe baseball is your calling. My stomach hurts and I am sure it wont be long, until my first inside pitch catches the side of my batting helmet and I feel a similar pain. Maybe any sport will be my sport when my father is my only fan.