Salmon Fishing With Big Cliff

Salmon Fishing With Big Cliff

By A.E. Horton

Fishing can be relaxing, it can even be cathartic–and sometimes one talks to complete strangers about ones personal life or even provides a ready ear to another fisher persons problems about life’s issues, proving yes, fishing can even be therapeutic.

So I’ve been doing quite a bit of fishing lately. As some of you are aware it’s the salmon run and I, like so many other anglers have gotten the salmon fishing bug. There are some fisherman who go out everyday for a chance at the prized fish.

I’ve seen a bunch of fish caught since the season opener in July, heck if I had to estimate it, probably fifty to sixty fish caught or hooked up, fought and lost. Hell, I’ve lost a couple of them myself that spit the hook while I attempted to fight and land them.

I’ve met a number of new friends out there on the banks of our local hot spot, all of us on a quest for the anadromous, chromed out, sea faring athletes.

One new fishing buddy is an older African American gentleman who stands so tall while fishing that he prefers to sit most of the time. He’s out there with the the rest of us fisher folk performing our ritual, cast, retrieve, cast, retrieve, cast…..retrieve.

We both left the fishing hole at the same time once and looking up at him–while we chatted about our mutual respect for our elusive opponent–I had figured that he had to be about six foot eight our six foot nine. (one thing about fisher folk, is that we like to figure weights and measurements of fish and people…….dogs, cats, roadkill skunks, you get the picture.)

I have a particular idiosyncrasy that I don’t like asking super tall people in general but especially black guys, if they played basket ball. I developed this quirk once when I was a teenager and I had asked this of a guy and he straight up responded with, “What because I’m tall and black I’m supposed to love basket ball? To be honest I prefer to play soccer.” (insert slow motion video footage of Hakeem Olajuwon playing soccer here. Not many know that Hakeem originally wanted to play soccer professionally until someone saw his seven foot, gazelle like ass–running around, kicking a ball and told him that he could go to the university of Houston and dunk a ball instead. The rest as they say is basketball history. Any way back to my story.)

This incident when I was a teen didn’t leave me scarred for life or any thing but it did teach me something about stereotypes and it has always made me think first for a moment before ever asking questions of anyone.

On my most recent chat with the big guy, he told me that he would be gone for a week as he had to return home. I joked and asked him if he wanted me to tell him if the fishing got totally red hot while he was gone, on his return. He laughed and said that I could do that.

A few days of fishing went by and I found myself fishing next to another fishing buddy who asked me if I had seen Cliff around.

“Cliff? who’s that?” I said.

The big tall guy that fishes in this spot here.” My fishing buddy says.

I saw him a couple of days ago. He said he had to go back home for a week but would be back out here after that.” I said, while making a near perfect cast into the river.

“You know who he is right?” My fishing buddy says.

One some unconscious level maybe I did know who he was because I answered him.

“Cliff? Cliff?…Dude there’s no frikkin’ way that that’s Clifford Ray from the Warriors?”

My fishing buddy laughed. “It sure is, he even let me take a picture of his championship ring.” He said, as he took out his camera and showed me the ring that Cliff still wears everyday. On the ring I could see where it said 1975 NBA Champions.

Life is really amazing sometimes. I grew up in the bay area–Oakland and Berkeley mostly, and in the 80’s found myself a huge Golden State Warriors fan and managed to go to a few games and enjoyed rooting and hollering for the team back then with players with names like World B Free, Joe Barry Carroll, Purvis Short, Bernard King and Clifford Ray. So it was a mind blowing discovery to realize that I had spend hours upon hours fishing with a slice of NBA history on the banks of the Sacramento river and I was totally oblivious to this fact.

I’ve included a Wikipedia link about Clifford Ray if anyone would like to learn more about him.





Weight loss experiment

I had trouble sleeping last night. It seems that with my doing 1000 calories per day that this is causing more stomach acid to act up. The feeling is a nauseousness, clamminess that seems like the acid is burning in my solar plexus and throat as if it wanted to escape through my mouth. Along with this feeling is an excruciating hunger pang type cramp.
I was only able to get to sleep after taking a big swig of a store brand bottle of Maloxx that I have and a couple of soda crackers.

As I think about the weight gain I seem to recall that the acid reflux and this went hand and hand.
When I was having that sick acid feeling i would eat something to absorb the acids and I would feel better almost immediately afterwards until the next bout of it.
Last night when I got off at work I took a 150mg of Zantak and it surely didn’t do anything to help me. One more think that helps me this morning is that i propped up my pillows and slept at a dramatic tilt angle so that the acid couldn’t run towards my throat.

I am aware that certain foods contain acid like tomatoes and citrus and sodas so as a rule I tend to avoid them however I do recall eating a tomato two nights ago that a friend from work gave me.
I need to be more vigilent of this from now on. I don’t wan’t a thing to hamper my progress at the experiment.
I am going to walk to the pharmacy today and get some real Maloxx and Tums when I pick up one of my BP meds.

Blog Story Episode 3

The command room floor, vibrated with communications from our transport, that orbited big blue.
Drivers like me, from the surface, checked in with their status updates as well.
I hated to report to command, but under the circumstances concerning my last route–I knew I had an ass chewing in my future.
At the main comm routing center was Makera, she, and I were an item not long ago–because of that, her father hated me.
I should have listened, when Cithlat tried to warn me about sneaking the commander’s daughter into my quarters. Even though Makera and I both thought we should wait before getting physical with each other, my gene sire said, that I was flirting with underworld disaster, type stuff. Commander Drulmul was head, over the entire western sector operation.
But did I listen? Do children ever listen to wisdom from an elder hive mate?
Cithlat was quick to say, it was because I had a hard shell, that I inherited from my mother’s side, and this was why Commander Drulmul hated me.
This simple fact made my reprimand sorties, rather interesting.
I walked to the bridge and stepped onto the upper platform.
Setting off the ships alarm, was one of my favorite things to do to the old commander. If he was going to hate me, I made sure that he had good reason for it.
“Unauthorized personnel on the bridge.” The claxon rung and the ships artificial voice tattled.
“You know what, driver Buchod? I’m not even going to get upset about your blatant disregard for protocols, and your disrespect for my command.” Commander Drulmul said smiling. Him smiling should have been my first hint.
“C’mon commander, don’t hold back after all this time. I know you’ve been saving your good stuff just for me.” I said, as I looked towards the comm–station, where Makera sat–with her head, and antennas focused to her screen console.
“So what’s it gonna’ be this time? Two weeks
off with no pay, or my operators license suspended?” I asked.
“Neither. I’ve finaly got the go ahead to boot your silly ass out of my unit.” Commander Drulmul said, he sounded way to happy about what he said next.
“You ship out immediately for the Gakuki frontier.”
“Your not serious are you? Most of the drivers have had trouble getting good contact with the flesh sacks as of late. This punishment doesn’t fit my mistake sir.” I said.
“Don’t get yourself all worked up kid. I had nothing to do with it. Control sent me a requisition for two drivers for research in developing new tactics for getting links, that weren’t as easily broken by the flesh bags.”
“And you and your father came to mind.” The Commander said.
“I bet we did. Sir–the Gakuki frontier is thirty days travel by slow crawler.” I said.
“Yes it certainly is Driver Buchod.” The commander said, with a shat eating smile, his antennea twitched with glee.
“Wait. What did I do?” Cithlat asked.
“Your going also, to keep an eye on the boy–as I don’t have the confidence that on his own he wouldn’t cause chaos to the research facility. I’ll not have this jackass’s indisressions, pointing back at my operation here.” The commander said.
I looked over at the comm–center for Makera. She looked up at me, and shook her head.
I knew that look. She didn’t want me to argue with her father, which meant she knew something that I didn’t.
I decided to shut my hole, and take what ever my punishment was going to be. For now, I listened to the ass chewing that the commander gave me, as he questioned my mothers parental genetics as cloned from this planets dung beetles.
Cithlat cursed at the Commander, and walked quickly off the bridge, shoving his way past the security guards who tried to subdue him. I went after him ignoring the commander, who now yelled at us both.
I stepped over the guards as they tried to get up, and gave them a shove with my rear legs pushing them down again.
I never saw Cithlat react like this to any of our reprimand sessions before, and to be honest I was in a state of shock.
Not only at being sent to the Gakuki front, but Cithlat’s so–out of character reaction to the news.
I could hear the commander still yelling at us. “Your just like him kid! Your just like your old man!” I ran down the narrow hall tube in pursuit, from time to time stepping over males, and helping up the females, that my gene sire had toppled–in his rage.



We take them from seedling, til their roots are strong enough, to hold fast to the cold earth on their own. If we did our part right, they remember us when they give thanks, and when they set down the seedlings of their own season.

Blog Story Episode 2

Episode 2

I woke in a dimly lit room.
My body hurt, but I survived the impact of the fall.
The shell however, took the majority of the impact.
There are great thinkers among my people, who think that reality, is like the fragmented particles that make up a kaleidoscope.
This time out with the meat-sack shell, almost cost me my life, and someone was going to answer for this. I may be just an operator, but dammed if all these cost cutting measures, are making it nearly impossible for us to do our jobs.
If I ever became accustomed to driving homo-sapiens it would be a long life.
Of all the other life forms in the vast universe and sub-verse, the H-saps are the only ones, that give us driver/operators, the trouble that they do.
The humans are a sticky bunch.
When my people embed into a life form, there is usually no trouble to speak of. We embed, do our job, and then get out. No harm, no xentos.
These monkey gene fools, are a different thing.
There is something in the genetics of the mammilan mayhems, that make them latch on to our own sense of identity, and being, and sometimes, the return to long life can be a challenge.
The only thing that makes it a worthwhile venture, is that we get hazard pay for driving these weirdos.
“How you doing Buchod?”
“No worse than last time I had a slit and bail run.” I said, as I activated the harness that held me suspended, in a container of zero nueromass, nucleotide fluid, that served as part of the decontamination process.
I unhooked the harness attachments, and jumped down to the medical rooms floor. I landed on my two rear legs.
“I’m glad you were my wing man out there, Cithlat.” I said.
Cithlat’s antenna flicked forward in acknowledgment.
“Glad I was there to, son.”
Cithlat was my oldest living realative, and my oldest living friend and coincidently the best lifter a soul could have.
“When you tossed my ass off that building, I was thinking as a H-sap does. I saw my entire short life blur in front of me.” I said.
“It was scarry for us to, Makara in the com box, said that she couldn’t even reach you through our gland-net.”
“Yeah I could hear her and the Commander, but I wasn’t recognizing who they were. I was hearing them as the H-sap does. Its like, It was driving me instead.” I said.
“I just debriefed with the Commander, your up next. He says that the humans are getting more resistant to our embedding process. We may have to find another en-route, into their neuro paths soon he said.” Cithlat said.
“Damn.” I knew that this was coming. It was just a few weeks ago, that one of the monkey kids, pinched and squished one of our drivers as he was attempting to embed.” It was his own fault thought. We veteran drivers had been telling these young ones to enter from the rear side, away from the H-saps arms, and hands, but this one wanted to be a maverick and land right on the targets arms. Stupid.. Stupid. He died, just barely out of pupa stage and would never, now see imago.
I planted my six legs firmly on the med-ward floor–now having regained my balance, and senses from the decontamination process. I walked to the portal door with Cithlat behind me.
I watched as the sick blood that I sucked from the H-sap was flushed out into the recycle chambers, to be used as egg fertilizer in our nurseries. Ironic.

Blog story Episode 1

This will be a serialized blog story that I will begin writing on my breaks at work. I am not doing any outlining for this work. I am only going to discovery write.

Episode 1

“What are you afraid of?” The voice said.
The same voice that had been prompting my every action since I got off the plane at LAX.
I didn’t answer.
The fact that I still stood on the buildings ledge after I had climbed over the safety barrier–was my answer.
“What are you afraid of?”
The voice in my head spoke again. It was a womans voice this time. She sounded agitated.
“Its not everyday I’m asked to kill myself.” I yelled.
“Buddy, don’t do it. Whatever you think is the reason–don’t do it.” A voice from the street below called up to me.
“It is the only way to bring you to us. You must die in this life, to begin the long life.” The male voice in my head said.
The male, sounded old, like the actor that played Marcus Arelius in Gladiator.
I had done everything that they had asked so far; I had escaped from the police in San Francisco,I stole the money from a hidden compartment in a metal box in the Captains office. The box, and the key to it was exactly where they said it would be.
It was at that moment, that I was pretty sure that I was dreaming, or hallucinating on some bad shit that I got from Mo-Mo earlier in the day.
I was pissed off, when I thought I was trippin’,because it had taken me all night, and most of the morning to collect all the plastic, cans and bottles. It was a three hefty bag day jackpot baby, and now I was high.
Now I was following orders from voices in my head, that showed me the path to freedom from my bondage.
As the handcufts fell off of my wrist in the Captain’s office where she had drawn the shades, so she could try to get me to snitch on Mo-Mo.I struck her quick in the throat.
I hit her with my fingers, in a way that I never knew, that I knew, and she glided to the floor like a fallen leaf would, kinda’ swinging, left to right and downward.
Everything around me seemed to move slow. I hesitate to use the cliche about it being like in slow motion, because I don’t think that’s how it was.
I think that I was just thinking, and moving too damn fast.
I could only blame Frikkin’ Mo-Mo, for selling his best customer some far out mess. I should thank him I knew, but at this exact moment standing on this ledge with these two voices in my head prompting me to leap. I just wanted to punch Mo-Mo in the throat like I did the lady Captain.
I don’t know how I was able to make it through the airport in San Francisco. Normally when I haven’t showered in a month, folks seem to want distance between me and them.
The male voice told me that I appeared as just another normal passenger in business class, and that everyone else would think that the smell would be coming from themselves.
“I want to live.” I said, as I struggled to keep my balance.
A bigger crowd had gathered below. The voices of don’t do it, merged with the voices of those who bade me to jump, for causing a delay in their days travels and meetings.
“You say this, and look how you have behaved since arriving here.” The male voice again.
“You will come back to us for more training.” The male voice said.
“We sent you back too soon. We both thought–hoped that you would be able to make the transition.” The female with the silk voice said.
“I want to live?–” and before I could argue any longer some unseen force pushed me off of the building, where I plummet into the crowd below, and my last thought was that I hoped no one got hurt by my emaciated shell.

Writing group prompt. Flash fiction Dialogue

Things best left unsaid
By A.E. Horton

“I called Janet like five times, and she walked right past me like I wasn’t even there.” Marisa said.
“She does the same thing to us also, she usually has her ipod blaring in her earphones so she can’t hear any of us.”
Joe responded.
“But what if a customer was trying to talk to her and ask a question? Its not very professional to have that music so loud that everyone can hear–sometimes I can even hear profanities when she walks. ” Marisa said.
“Your kidding me? I’ll have a talk with her about it in my office.” Joe said as he looked past Marisa at the activities and duties of the other office workers.
“Here she comes now Joe.” Marisa said softly.
Janet came walk-running by the pair and smiled at them both .
“Oh hey, Janet–, Janet!” Joe raised his voice, but could not get through the maximun decibles of Lil Wayne’s, Hot Revolver.
He followed after Janet, his shorter strides working twice as hard to keep up with her, down the hallway of the brokerage.
He caught up to her when she stopped to put mail in the sorters behind Angela’s (the receptionist) desk.
She was matching Lil Wayne–singing the hook with him in a whisper while the music sounded to Joe more like it emitted from small, bad quality speakers, rather than earphones.
He tapped the young girl on her shoulder.
“Oh hey Joe, what’s up?” Janet said. As she pulled out a right side ear-bud, and turned down the ipod.
“I need to talk to you in my office.” Joe said.
“Uh oh. What did someone say that I did now?” She asked in a sarcasatic tone.
“We’ll talk in my office. I’ll meet you there in a few minutes.” Joe said.
“OK”. Janet said, letting the A vowel linger.
When she finished with sorting the mail. She ran to Joe’s office. Inside, through the glass walls she could see Marisa from accounting and Angela and Mark from the IT department. She braced hereself for the confrontation with four of the dread Wraith kings from Lord of the Rings. Her joke caused her to smile as she knocked on Joe’s door.
“Come in.” Joe said from the other side of the door.
“Hey Janet, thanks for coming.” Joe said politely.
“What’s up Joe, am I on time for another witch burning?” Asked Janet.
“No, no witch burnings this time, but we are searching for kindling.” Joe answered in his attempt to match her inquirie.
“I asked you all here, because we have a bit of a situation we need to work out.” Joe said to the group.
“Marisa said that she tried to call you today but that you ignored her. I told her that it was probably because you had your music too loud yet again.” Joe said,
“No. I didn’t answer her because she’s a bitch. Janet said.
“I’m sorry?” Joe said.
“Don’t be, she’s a bitch, and not just to me, but everyone else here to.”
Angela and Mark looked down as if looking for some detail in the carpeting.
Marisa sat, her mouth open, a surprised expression on her face.
“We’re not here for name calling Janet. That’s enough of that. I wanted us to talk about you and your ipod. I am still getting complaints about it and you.” Joe said.
“None of you guys like rap music, that’s the problem. Do any of you even know any people from the hood? I doubt it.” Janet exclaimed.
“I like some rap, how about you guys? Don’t you guys like some rap to?” Joe motioned for the others to participate in the conversation.
“I use to listen to Kool Mo Dee when I was younger.” Mark said.
“I have some Run D.M.C bobble heads.” Joe said.
“I played Sheila E. in my high school’s production of Krush Groove.
Janet looked and waited for Marisa’s response. When Marisa was silent Janet responded.
“I’ve never heard of any of those people.” Said Janet.
“Oh my goodness!” Yelled Marisa.
“No, she’s right, I don’t like rap music, I think its vulgar, and its clearly a byproduct of the sad shape of our society today. What I want to know is, where does this little Goth skank get off calling me a bitch?”
Marisa stood up with her hands balled into a fist at her sides. Janet stood up as well, taking both earbuds from her ears and taking the ipod out of her pocket and placing it on her chair.
“Come on then, let’s do this, I ain’t scared of you!”
Angela and Mark eased for the door and Joe stopped them in their attempt.
“You two Stop!” He yelled.
The loudness and authority in his voice stopped the agruing of the woman and girl who had edged closer to each other.
All those in the room, went back to their chairs.
“What the fuck–you guys?! Where’s all this anger coming from?” He yelled and began closing his blinds to the glass wall. Mark and angela helped by closing the blinds closest to them.
“You guys are all fucked up here. This chunky cow is all up in my business and you guys (points to Mark and Angela), have had it in for me since I started last week!” Janet yelled.
“That’s not true, but you are rude Janet. You totally like, embarassed Mark the other day, like infront of Brian Parker no less.” Angela said.
“Oh what, your boyfriend can’t speak up for himself now? You the companies press secretary and receptionist to?” Janet accused her.
“Damn this meeting is not what I had planned.” Joe said.
“Well deal with it short stuff, things happen sometimes, when some people don’t mind their business.” Janet said.
“Janet, you really need to bring it down a few pegs. Its obvious something or someone has got you upset.” Joe said.
“Its all y’all who have the problem I was out here mindin’ my own buisness and stuff and y’all straight start trippin’.” Janet said.
“And why are you talking like that? I know for a fact that you went to Wellsley, and I know they don’t talk like that there.” Joe said.
“You know what? I don’t have to sit here and take this bull shit from you tired ass, bitch ass, mutha’ fuckas’. I’m out this bitch!”
Janet open and slammed the door to the office manager’s, flipping every one off, in the outer office, before heading to the front where she shoved the security guard to the ground.
“So who wants to tell the owner that his daughter just quit again? Joe asked as they searched among themselves for a brave soul.

The End