The jetty curls out into the Lake in the shape of a question mark. One of our friends insisted on walking out to the very tip. It was a lovely day, and the Lake was placid, not crashing against and washing over the breakwater, as I have seen it do. So out we strolled, joining the company of souls drawn to the peace and perspective that this particular jetty offers.
We passed oncoming pedestrians, even a few cyclists. We passed someone lying on the jetty looking up at the sky, and couples sitting on the jetty, their heads tipped toward one another, their legs dangling over the jetty’s side, below which spread the surface of the water, charmingly colorful, immense, and opaque.
We came upon a fisherman, who had caught two large fish, which were strewn, sun-glistening, on the concrete. One of the fish had a large rubbery-lipped rim of a mouth. We admired the fish and asked what kind they were but the man was mute. He may not have known English, but he did not even turn to the sound of our voices. We did not exist to him, which made him all the more mysterious to us.
Eventually we came to a sign on the pavement. A vandal had painted the words “Fuck Rules” over the international symbol for “No Diving.” Point taken, though everyone around us appeared perfectly rule-abiding. Still, the sign communicated the political philosophy of the jetty, where an air of liberation and pleasure prevailed.
At last we reached the jetty’s end. From the tip of the question mark, we gazed ahead, back across the distance we had just journeyed. The city, which had been at our backs, stood in full view. It was several miles off. Wrapped in a spectral blue haze, it bore a peculiar resemblance to a graveyard crowded with strange stones. No one remarked on it, however. In no particular hurry, we retraced our steps.