It was hot, the way it gets in the Gulf Stream during mid-July. Since sunup, Hooker had been stretched out in the ancient canvas deck chair, letting the sun bake him even darker, enjoying the strange feeling that the intense solar radiation was squeezing out all the aches and pains he had ever had in his life.
For the past hour he had been going through his ritual of forgetting, letting the present take hold. It was another nice day, almost too hot for people. Every so often the birds would circle overhead and squawk, but they didn't dive, so he knew there were no baitfish surfacing yet.
He was totally awake, even...