Monday, march 23rd 8:45pm: You turn into your driveway, navigate around the overflowing recycling bin and pull your late model POS into the carport, home from another day of whatever. Another Monday in the infinity of shitty Mondays that seems to define your life.
It has been weeks since you have been out fishing and you still haven’t put away your crap from the last trip, which is taking up a large portion of the kitchen counter along with fast-food wrappers, plastic cups and the occasional hot sauce packet from the overpriced burrito stand across the street.
Putting it away would be admitting defeat, so you leave it alone and continue to your office to fire up your computer machine and be whisked away into the interweb-of-life where you can try to forget about how lame your existence has felt lately.
Just spam in the email; nobody loves you. Your mouse quickly navigates it’s way around your bookmarks in search of anything that will help alleviate the pain in your head.
Everything is as it should be: Jean-Paul is beating up carp, the Angels are throwing flies at steelhead in some awesome place, Keith is eloquently questioning the merits of something or another, Matt is drinking micro-brew and making videos, Buster is trying to get lazy fisherpeople to swell their brain doing crossword puzzles by promising stickers and increased feminine company, and so on. But it doesn’t help, not today.
It starts to get to you: Every image of water holding people holding large fish starts to cut into your soul.
Every tale on every river, lake, casting, catching, reels spinning, flies flying, fish jumping, running, flopping on the shore: it all takes a little piece.
Every hero shot, every grip and grin, every stinky net is another little nudge towards the edge.
Then it happens, you come across a photo of some guy in Utah holding an unnaturally large rainbow trout with a huge shit-eating grin and you lose it. The stages of fishing jealousy set in.
First shock: “Holy Shit that’s a huge fish!”
Then Denial: “There is no freeking way that lame-ass caught a trout that big, it was probably foul hooked anyways.”
Then Anger: “That’s bullshit! That totally should be me, and what’s that douche got that I don’t? I hope he chokes on a Slim Jim.”
Then Bargaining: “I will sell my car, my blood, my body, my kidneys on the black market whatever it takes to fish somewhere awesome. Then I can be cool, right? Then people will like me, right? You got to help me, I need this! I will do anything! Anything I tell you!”
Then Guilt: “I suck, and I live in a suck place, and I suck as fishing, and it’s all my fault. If only I would have gotten out sooner, or didn’t spend all my money on hookers and blow…. I deserve to live in this stupid desert.”
Then finally you accept it. It could be worse, right? At least you’re able to fish at all, and you have caught some sweet slabs.....
You stand up, chug a beer, and punch yourself in the face for being such a whiney bitch.
You have to realize that it is about where you live, but not in the way you think.
Badassness can be found anywhere, especially if you live somewhere that is not known for great fishing.
So fuck your inbox, screw your shitty day, to hell with the dirty kitchen and your overdue utility bills. Call your friends, grab your shit, get out there, drink beer and beat the waters to a froth.
And even if you don’t catch any records, don’t worry: You won’t even notice because you will be too busy kickin’ ass.
-Alex who cares about your sanity.