“I love that knife,” he said another time. He looked down at the table and shook his head. “I bought it from a kid named Jimmer in the sixth grade.”
It was a little blue utility knife with tweezers and a file and fold-out scissors. Jimmer had told him “Glaxo,” embossed on the side, was the name of an elite unit of the Swiss Army. He found out later Jimmer’s dad gave them out to doctors on sales calls. The five dollars Jimmer got for it was pure profit.
I think he saw me roll my eyes because he got defensive. “I know it sounds ridiculous but I just liked it,” he said.
“It’s not like I dropped it in the water,” he went on. “It just disappeared and I didn’t notice so I don’t know when or where.”
“You could find one on eBay,” I offered.
“I wanted my kids to have it,” he said.
“You don’t have kids.”
He took a sip of his drink and nodded.
The next time we went fishing he brought nail clippers and seemed put out for having to rotate the lever in place. It was amazing to watch his temper build for so minor a thing.