xmas carp

From: J
Category: Other stuff
Date: 25 December 2003


My family sometimes might think I am the christmas carp, because I moan a lot and purse my lips. Still out here in the Ost with the frost, they eat these fish instead of the dull and overweight turkeys we stomach at this unpleasant time of year.

We drove out of town on an unlit motorway, but the bright winter sun had not set yet so it was ok, the sun shines so white hot cold clear that you can't look at it except diffused through the upper branches of a pine tree.

Where do we get fish? they asked at the petrol station, (we wanted trout actually not carp). First place only carp, a small crowd at a garage, like refugees, or middle ages. Next place. Round the corner, down a road, into the woods, a rough concrete bridge looks like it will scrape the new car. So we dismount. It is geting dark now, below freezing, ponds in the wood, hunters in the snow (no snow), fishermen in the forest, another crowd, a fenced area of pools squirming with fish. A queue waits for its Christian dinner.

In one hut, it is is a building actually, two men gut. Fish moving alive in water in plastic bags are carried from the sales section to the cleaning section.The carp is whacked, stunned. Then scaled, de-livered, skinned, filleted. Sounds nice. Is not nice. The giant and heavy carp, as big as a baby, bleeds like a pig. It carries on after its death, OH eternal Life / fisher of souls, It twitches with its skin off, bleeding from a hundred cuts, it does not readily give up its bones. The bits and pieces and blood of many carp, te ghosts of thousand more, are there.

It is darker and colder and we want to get out of there. A boy is skimming stones across the icey little lake. I am not from here. More carp are gutted with big knives, don't stand too close or you may be hit by the red spatter.

We drive home quite quietly on the unlit motor route, in the dark, out of the woods at least.