I went to the dentist today, as I am in the middle of the longest-ever root-canal procedure. I got the temporary crown today.

He is in solo practice and takes off only a week a year, during which he goes fishing in Ontario with a buddy. They've done it for 30 years. His parents were city folk, he said, but his father had a cousin, M, who had a bunch of different jobs and no job but was married to a German woman who didn't mind. They lived in Wisconsin. When my dentist was in high school, his father was dying of cancer. The cousin suggested that my dentist come stay with them. He did and learned to fish. He loved being in the middle of the water without telephones or TV, just with the silence and the fishing, away from everything.

So that is why he likes to fish. His sons used to but don't any more, after his wife talked about the suffering of the fish. But they eat fish. There's no reason to force them, he said, and there's nothing else to do at the place in Ontario except fish.

My dentist and his friend eat fish every day of their trip but don't bring any home any more because of conservation rules.

Fishing is like meditation but with a concrete goal. I liked fishing when I did it at camp. L doesn't. I don't seek fishing out, and so I don't fish. I stopped eating fish for a while and became a lacto-ovo vegetarian when I saw one struggling on a line. But now I eat fish and shellfish and chicken. I am a species-ist. We're more powerful than they are and we overtake them and eat them. I take 3000 mg. of fish oil a day, to help my chemo brain. It would be nice if my dentist's son liked to fish with him. Maybe one day he will.

And that is all I have to say about fish.