Magazine article Commonweal

The Lakes

Magazine article Commonweal

The Lakes

Article excerpt

We never admitted that the lake was terrifying, that it was a dark, alluring, fearful hole in the world, that it was more grim than serene. We never said the word "drown." We never confessed to each other that we had heard all the stories, and believed every one of them. Believed that pale icy corpses lurked in the murky nether reaches of the lake, along with giant predatory pike and who knows what other savageries left over from the Eocene Epoch? We never admitted that we tiptoed into the lake not so much because it was cold, which it was, but because we were fearful of what was underfoot, what could snatch and tear and puncture and abrade us. But in we went, seemingly careless and reckless, diving into the deeper reaches and opening our eyes beneath the surface and gaping at the endless deathly green of it. Blue was the smiling surface. Blue caught the sun. Blue was the gleaming summer lake the old folks savored from the porches of their cabins as they sipped their whiskey sours and listened to the baseball game on the radio, but the real lake was a forbidding, flinty green, with the ghostly bones of dead trees reaching up for you, and the frightened skitter of tiny trout and perch, and on the far shore a stern heron like an exiled assassin, and the flyblown scat of what could only be a bear, and the pawprint of something you hoped was a bobcat--but it could be a cougar, couldn't it?

The little kids could stay on the lip of the lake, and piddle and patter in the shallows, and dig holes and play with sticks. But the older kids had to fling themselves into the deep, for you could not be frightened. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.