I Don’t Think I’m Gonna Fish

I Don’t Think I’m Gonna Fish

By Aaron Litchfield

Who: Aaron, Chef Ray, Benny, Reid, and Reid’s Dad

Where: Cape Cod

When: The end of summer

Why: For fun

What: I went fishing with my friends Chef Ray, Reid, and Benny.

Friday Night 9:30pm- Benny and I met Chef at a Dunkin Donuts in Dorchester. Benny looked around a lot.  He asked me about ten times where Chef Ray was, and he kept saying he should have been there by that time. I told him I didn’t know what was up, and that maybe it’s no big deal.

9:35- Chef Ray showed up.

10:50- We arrived at Benny’s parents house where Chef and Benny played video game soccer while I watched a Bill Murray video on my computer. Chef Ray looked over when he heard me laughing. He said:

“You like that shit don’t you?”

“Yes, I do Chef.”

Saturday we woke up and took our time doing things.

11:00 am Saturday- I went out and got Benny and Chef Ray coffee while they played more video game soccer. I got to drive which was cool, because I don’t have a license.

12:30 pm- Benny and Chef finished playing video game soccer. They like that shit. They get really into it.  I think it was exciting for them because usually Benny plays at his house, while Chef plays at his house, with little girls kicking and poking him and asking him waaaaay too many questions when Chef just wants to relax a little bit. But now they were at an empty beach house in Cape Cod, and I think they were happy to play together in the same room. They were yelling at the screen and stuff.

12:45- We went to our friend Reid’s Dad’s house. It was a 15 minute walk away.

1:00- We met Reid’s Dad’s girlfriend at Reed’s Dad’s house.

1:05- We said goodbye to Reid’s Dad’s younger girlfriend. So it was Benny, Chef, Reed, Reid’s Dad, and me. We walked to the water and got in the fishing boat. Reid told us how his Dad was saying that we were going into Great White Shark territory and we all talked about how scary and exciting that was. It took about a half hour on the fishing boat to get to where we wanted- a spot where the bay meets the ocean. Benny, Chef, and I rode in the back of the boat while Sam was up front, next to his Dad, who drove the boat. There were smelly fumes in the back that I think altered our consciousness a little.

1:35- We finally got to the edge of the ocean and the bay- supposedly home to JAWS. Chef, and Benny went to the front. Chef began putting his pole together right away. Reid and Reid’s Dad went after their hooks and bait as well. I began eating my sandwich. Reid’s Dad talked about fishing. He told Reid where he could catch this fish and how he should bait that fish. Reid said “Oh, yeah?” and “Oh, no way” a few times. Also “Oh, OK Dad.” At a quiet point I just heard Reid say to his Dad-

“I like bluefish.”

1:40- I tried get up to go to the bathroom but I was nervous. I had to stand on the back ledge of the boat. It felt like someone was trying to shake the ground from underneath me. And I thought about Jaws exploding out of the water and eating me while I stood there, exposed. I sat down. Chef asked Ben if he was going to fish. Ben put his hand out flat and glided it forward-

“I like to ease my way into fishing.”

1:42 Reid’s Dad began throwing big pieces of fish guts into the ocean, right off the side of the boat. I think Reid was also afraid of JAWS.

“You wanna do that so close to the boat Dad?”

1:45- I finished the second half of my sandwich. Reid and his Dad began talking in hushed voices.

1:47- Benny leaned forward and began putting his pole together. Chef asked me if I was going to fish.

“I don’t think I’m gonna fish.”  I climbed up on the back of the boat again and tried to pee.

1:49- I was finally letting things go up there when Reid made an announcement to Chef, Benny and me.

“Hey guys, I’m sorry to say, but we gotta head back. My Dad has a doctor’s appointment at three.”


*     *    *

October 11 2014

I chose the video “Aliens Exist” by Blink at the end of the Ultimate Post because-

I went to the Boston Public Library to write/finish “What I wanted To Write.” The BPL on Boylston is where I’d go when I first moved to Boston, before I even had a fucking computer. I’d send emails and check facebook and whatnot. So after I’d begun the blog, I’d return to the BPL when it was time for serious business. WIWTW was for the SFSF and it was a big deal because unlike “Glossary,” I was actually gonna give some meat about the mission and the church. So I went. I got a little dressed up, cuz this is my job.

It’s hard for me to read that early stuff because it’s so personal, though it’s not like I’m ashamed. It’s not as if I want it to go away. AS IF! I just don’t feel like reading it right now. I’m digressing. I want any errors removed, but it’s not worth it for me go over the old stuff again. Maybe in the future. Email me people. Yeah right.

Anyway, I felt pretty damn good after finishing WIWTW. I felt real good. I felt like I’d done a good bit of writing and it took me about ten years to write like that. I felt light as a feather. I walked out of the old East Entrance (as I always did) and there was a light blanket of snow covering the ground on that late winter/early spring day. That winter was the lightest of my six Boston winters. There was like no snow. The winter prior to that, there was a ton of snow. So the blanket of snow that met me as I exited the BPL just made me feel like everything was right in the world. I felt good. I remember the subway ride home. I wondered who was reading it. I was so amped. I tried to find things to listen to on my ipod that matched the energy level that I felt. You’d think “My Name Is Jonas” would have done, but no, not enough. The only song was “Aliens Exist.” I listened to it over and over. Fuck yeah.

Oh yeah, so the point. I also felt like that after the Ultimate Post.

It helps me.

I recently moved to Central Square in Cambridge. The first couple weeks I slept on my futon mattress on the floor before I was able to move its accompanying frame. One evening, I went home and plopped down on the futon mattress right away. I was asleep at about 8pm.

I awoke to a nightmare. What am I doing? OK, someone’s arms are around my waist. I was confused. He’s Behind me. I was sitting up on my futon mattress. His hands are locked together. Josh is really strong. It’s fucking Josh. I tried to pry his hands apart. What is going on? I lunged forward and did a somersault. Josh ended up on top of me. Damn, he’s so fast, too! I wrestled in tenth grade. Why couldn’t I learn a single fucking move!? I never really learned any moves. My wrestling record was zero wins against two losses. Fuck! We tumbled around for a while, my coherence grew as the seconds went by. Josh flopped me on my back. Yes, I went to work today…I jammed my knee into his side. I was very tired…he’s tickling me. Again. Again?  The tickling was like murder, enough anger at that point enabled me to slam him into the wall. That’s rightI came home and took a nap. Does he have to punch me in the kidney, in the KIDNEY, that hard? This is a friend, and roommate? So this is how I wake up? This is my new living situation.


When did I wake up? How long were you at it?


Well first I went in and started tugging at the mattress, shaking it back and forth, like craaaaazy man, yanking you up and down and you were…I mean just NOTHING. OUT. Then I took the pillow and slammed you in the face and NOTHING man. Nothing.


So what did it?


The tickling. Automatically. As soon as I touched your feet you were up and fighting right away. Like RIGHT AWAY.


Oh, yeah, I remember the tickling.

Yesterday morning I awoke to a loud clanging sound outside that I just dismissed as industrial or municipal so I went back to sleep. I awoke again about an hour later and peered out the window. I saw a woman about 50, who was possibly dressed for work on a nice summer morning in Cambridge. She was wearing white shorts and a blouse. She carried a bag with her.

So I said she was dressed for a nice summer morning, but it wasn’t nice- it was raining. And the repeated clanging noise I’d been hearing wasn’t industrial or municipal, it was the woman banging an empty plastic bottle against a chain link fence. Her hair and clothes were soaking wet. The empty-plastic-bottle-against-the-fence made a surprising amount of noise for a person banging a plastic bottle against a fence across the street. She seemed to be looking toward the house on the her side of the street as she banged.  I assumed that she was desperately trying to get the attention of someone living in the house in front of her. She was banging so steadily. It was like bang bang bang bang bang bang all spaced out evenly, like a metronome. I held hope that she wasn’t quite insane- though it was obvious she was definitely not the best decision maker. I thought she could go about things differently, like cross over that chain link fence and walk to the front door, and ring or knock. I assumed she didn’t have a phone. I asked myself how she could have the courage to bang on a fence repeatedly, and loudly enough for a whole block to hear, while simultaneously being afraid to open the gate and walk to the door of the house.  I went back to bed.

A while later I was up again and I heard the same rhythmic banging. Was the sound different this time? I looked out the window. It sure was a different sound. The plastic bottle was gone, and in its stead was a stick. In the hour or so that had passed since I saw her banging the fence with the bottle, she had moved from right to left across my field of vision, and down the sidewalk a bit. She was slapping a stick against a city parking sign. So no trying to get one’s attention, no poor decision-making, just pure insanity. Before conceding that, I was really rooting for her.

Shortly after seeing the woman banging the stick against the parking pole, my roommate Josh came into my room and asked me what was going on. He knew though, because he had the same view from his room. I stuck my face near the screen.


“Why are you doing that!!!?”


“Yeah, ALLLLL morning!”


“It helps me.” tap tap tap. “It helps me.”


We got around on bicycles. It was cheap and effective. Every mission is different, but on my mission to Colorado, bikes were the most common method of transportation. Zone Leaders had cars because they had to be able to get around and check up on the six or seven companionships in the zone. But the rest of us were on bikes.

We all rode mountain bikes. It didn’t occur to anyone other than Tennessee Smith (In a mission of about two hundred, there were three Elder Smiths) that riding a street bike might actually be a bit easier. There was a company called Liahona that sold bikes to missionaries, and apparently it hadn’t occurred to them that we might like anything other than bulky mountain bikes.

I was hit by a car while riding my mountain bike. In a letter home, I told my mom about whom I was teaching and how I was getting along with Elder K, and oh, that I got hit by a car. I gave maybe two sentences on it. She was appalled that the mission hadn’t informed her. In my letter back, I told her it wasn’t the mission’s fault, because I hadn’t informed the mission.

It was a nice sunny afternoon, and I was riding in front of Elder K. I had almost come to a complete stop at a busy residential intersection when a white sedan driving left to right in front of me hit just the very front of my bike. I threw my hands up and off the handle bars, relinquishing control.  My wheel was immediately perpendicular to the frame. When she hit me, her car was going maybe 10 MPH. She slammed on the brakes. I saw blonde hair.

I stood there with the frame still between my legs, surveying the damage my front wheel had done to her car. My bike was now up against her car’s rear panel. My wheel and tire were destroyed, but that was it. I could probably replace it with a spare from another missionary for $20, or a member would just give me one.

With her seatbelt on, she strained to lean between the two front seats and toward the rear window. “OH MY GOD ARE YOU OK!?”  she yelled. She was wearing a tank top, looked about 30 years old, wore sunglasses, and had just a ton of blonde, curly hair. “ARE YOU SURE-” She was looking at my name tag. Her eyes were strained and I saw her lips move as she read Church-Of-Jesus-Chri…she took a breath “sure you’re ok?” Elder K was standing at her open window at this point.

Due to the transient nature of the mission, Elder Ka’Onohi quit trying to teach howlies how to pronounce his last name.


1.verb. To be moved from one area to another, resulting in a new companionship: Elder Litchfield was transferred from his greenie (first) area in Kansas with Cowboy Smith to the Colorado Springs 6th Ward with Elder Langston.

2.noun. Meeting wherein missionaries gather to hear where their next assignment will be: At transfers, it was announced from the pulpit that Litchfield would be serving with Elder Ka’onohi. After hearing the news, the (contextually) young Litchfield elbowed the (contextually) older Langston who was next to him in the pew. Litchfield opened up his hands and raised his eyebrows hoping to get some info on Elder Ka’ O-something. The normally euphemistic and cheery Langston kept his gaze forward and lifted his left hand in front of him, shaking it side to side. Finally Langston leaned over, took a breath and whispered to Litchfield, “You’ll get into some doors.”

3.noun. Time period between transfer meetings. Normally six weeks, unless there is a mission split or some other event significant enough to break up the six-week time period: Elder Litchfield was distraught when he was informed after six harrowing weeks that he had to do another transfer with Elder K.

I was totally fine. I was better than fine. My wrecked bike meant that Elder K and I would be walking for an indefinite amount of time, and that was preferred. Elder K had been trying to sell me on walking since we were paired together. I’d argued that we should stay on bikes because we could get to places quicker and talk to more people, basically echoing mission leadership. But now I’d been hit by a freaking car. This ended my struggle for at least little while. The cheap, ill-fitting suits and nametags were enough. Cheap, ill-fitting suits on mountain bikes (with helmet) was just cartoonish.

Elder K was still at her window “Miss, Miss, have you ever been baptized?” She shot him a quick puzzled look then turned back at me, as she unbuckled her seatbelt. She opened her door, ignoring Elder K’s attenuated discussion and ran around to me. She put her hand on my shoulder and looked into my eyes for lucidity, then back at Elder K, and again at my name tag, Latter-Day-Saints. She was wearing that tank top and some short shorts.

Missionary Goggles

1.-noun. Slang. Think Beer Goggles. Litchfield’s been on the mish a year now so you know he’s got the goggles on. Or That girl was gorgeous, Edler- A 10, WITHOUT missionary goggles.