Something Else
Randall Brown

We drove north, toward Page. Outside of Phoenix, my father called the cactus "a desert snowman." Then, in Flagstaff, a blizzard, a burp, and he talked of burgers, every few minutes another -- beef, turkey, chicken, vegetable. I added bison and ostrich. We arrived an hour early, before the fishing guide, so we stared at the red canyon walls, at the condors. I mentioned the Sleestak from the old cartoon Land of the Lost. We shivered a bit, had expected warmth. My father wondered aloud about water and time, the river through canyon, boulders turning to sand. We pulled on waders, dressed in fishing costumes, assembled our rods. An orange scud would be the fly of choice, according to the guidebooks. It grew later, the guide still not there, the cell phone unable to reach anyone. My father wanted to wait before moving. I waded out a bit on my own. Snow began where it should've been spring. My father whispered something I couldn't make out, as if he were holding a snow globe, shaking it, remembering things.
Finally, the guide, a boat hitched to his truck. "It's about time," I heard my father say.
Somewhere, in between casts, on the way to a secret hole only the guide knew, or maybe on the way back to this spot, I'd say something. I felt it this time, the way one feels the tiniest twitch of trout, unlike rock or bottom, something entirely else.