Catherine Paquette – The things we live for

Catherine Paquette

The things we live for

Hunting, lesbianism and vulnerability find themselves hugging. My father is a hunter, who produced a women loving woman, both strong and tender like fresh moose meat.

Respectively, dad and I know that if a luckier moose strays and finds its periphery suddenly peopled, it might get an airlift home. But if folks are hungry, Alien, prepare to be followed, stared at, photographed then stuffed after being run over.

My father is nice and has an accent.  He has few friends; his family scattered. My mother is his louder half. Retirement and an every-other-year hunting trip north are his horizons.

I held his rifle once. It was very heavy. It did not strike me as fun to carry, hold quietly for hours, waiting for the possibility of meat. There are many things I’d rather do, like go to San Francisco.

Recently, I flew myself across the continent. My first airlift found me getting smaller and smaller. I realized that I’d never seen the ocean; mountains. Never gone away. Alone. In a distant city. Daddy?

After roaming nights and days, [still starting when people stared], I found myself at the ocean’s edge—my horizon. A taste test confirmed the salty truth. The waves, so rhythmic and wet. The mountains, much bigger than me. The sun, I love you.

Maybe it’s the natural quiet that gets him, there where the snap of a branch is louder than any car. Maybe it’s being back in the province he was born, with his family, his language. Perhaps it’s the ritual, the escape, or even the kill.

Like my father crouched at sunrise, breath before him, embracing the moment, our distances touched.

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