Calaveras County. The 60′s. I was 6.
We went to a forestry preserve – I think, now, it must have been a fishery.
At a tiny stream in the middle of a small, flat meadow, a forest ranger in short sleeves knelt looking through the running water at his hands.
We walked up to him.
I asked him a question.
Like I do.
And there was no response.
I asked again.
Just as I was pulling in breath to ask again, my mother leaned down and whispered “Shhh. He’s counting fish.”
The sun filtered through massive redwoods. The water sparked like an invisible wall between two dimensions made visible for a just a moment.
Counting fish. Requires complete focus.
Later I learned there are many kinds of fish that people count.
Most are not actually fish.
Today the Verizon guy was fiddling with yellow cables in the box outside my porch.
I walked downstairs to ask a question. Like I do.
“Are you thinking?” I asked him.
“Nope, I’m never thinking” he answered.
“Then can I ask you a question?”
“Sure,” he said.
And that’s how I learned to reprogram the password on my modem.
Lucky for me he wasn’t counting fish today.
Or maybe he already had them numbered.