- cut the hook? where? do we have any wire-cutter pliers? i didn't bring my tools. shit.
- maybe we can detach the hook itself from the lure. that'd help. can you get your fingers between the lure and the hook?
- why'd i do that? why did i leave that lure on the rod? why didn't i put it in the tackle box?
- i need a beer. we bought beer, right?
- oh, shit. i shouldn't chugged that beer. i'm light-headed now. i may throw up.
- does anybody around here have any wire-cutters? hey - let's ask that guy.
- that guy doesn't have any. what about the guy up the hill?
- (there was a guy, with a g.p.s., and a phone that can do this cool little find-businesses feature, and we spent 20 minutes while this guy tried to find the little local 24-hour-minor-emergency clinic, and he couldn't figure it out, and it was his own phone.)
- i guess let's drive back to town to the hospital. which one? which way?
- the guy with the g.p.s. said it's over to the right in town. (it wasn't.)
- wait, you figured out how to detach it from the lure? cool. now what?
- does it hurt?
at that point, what should we do? screw it. let's just go eat.
based on what i know from listening to my homeless brothers and sisters, and my students when i taught college english classes years ago, and the people who slump into my office at journey's warehouse and look like they've been beaten up, and my own brokenness and feeling of lostness, i think that poverty must feel like having the hook stuck in your leg.
what i did for my friend, as i recall, was to stand with him, and listen, and not jostle stuff, and drive him to the clinic, and carry his stuff, and not say anything about what happened, and eat supper with him, and keep asking "how's the leg?" and ask people for wire-cutter pliers. he and the hook had their own relationship; i was just there to be a friend, and to help as i was able, and to bear witness. it all turned out okay; we found resources; his arm hurt for a while because of the tetanus shot but it was worth it.
and even - or maybe especially - if it hadn't turned out okay, i'd still have been needed as a friend, to help as i was able, and to bear witness.