The Old Man and the Sea

I read my first Hemingway novel at the recommendation of a friend. I didn’t expect to know him. The old man, I mean. But I do. I grew up with him.

The old man sat repairing his nets and watching me grow up. He saw the devastatingly bored child lying on the floor, he watched while I took apart things I could never repair. He listened while Granddaddy read me Bible stories, and later he watched as I plowed through dozens of books in a summer. He watched me watch my grandfather fall asleep in his chair every afternoon surrounded by his books.

10911331_10155046462875634_6360293463715648372_oAll my life the old man and his nets sat on a low table in my grandparents sitting room watching- a single string looped over his toe.

I never returned to my grandparents house after their death, so as far as I am concerned, there he will sit repairing his net, thinking of his great fish and me, for the rest of time.

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One thought on “The Old Man and the Sea

  1. The Japanese fisherman, one of many exquisite pieces Dad brought back from his year-long, 1950’s secret military mission in Japan, is alive and well with me. He’s still repairing his net and gazing meditatively. The corner of the net remains firmly grasped between his toes.

    Maybe I can encourage his granddaughter, whom Dad never met, Liliana Christine, to write an essay, too, in her Johns Hopkins University summer writing course.

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