I remember riding in a boat on the South China Sea. Beautiful day, that day was. There were just a few clouds in the sky and the water was flat, like a big-ass turquoise tabletop. Seven of us were skim, skim, skimming over the surface of the ocean and every few minutes I would belt out, “Her name is Rio/and she dances on the sand!” My friends grew tired of this, but our guide, Don-Don, kept saying, “Oh, you are a singer. That’s good.” Don-Don knew what he was talking about.
Out in the ocean, far from land, we saw flying fish. Flying fish. That’s some shit. And we saw many flying fish. If you’ve never seen flying fish do their thing, know this: they glitter. On days when the sun is high and the clouds are gone, when they arc from Ocean Point A to Ocean Point B, they glitter and glisten like crystals.
Some of these fish could make it over the boat. Think of it: you’re sitting there in a motorboat with six other people, you’re skipping over the ocean and a sparkly fish flies past your face. Life is amazing, I tell you.
One fish didn’t quite make it. It left the water and landed in the middle of our boat. Don-Don grabbed it by the tail, bashed its head on the railing, and stashed it in a small Styrofoam cooler with his San Miguel beer.
There were two groups on the boat. There were those who thought the fish should have known better, who said that this is what happens when fish try to fly, who felt that flying was only meant for birds, insects and creatures that can build airplanes; and there were the rest of us who loved the fish for trying.