Monday, August 24, 2009

The Gift of Missing Me

Last November, sitting quietly on a stump, smoking a fine smelling cigar, no doubt rolled on the thighs of an octoroon Cuban woman, I heard one of the finest lines ever muttered by a fellow brother of the flyfishing fraternity. In many ways it encapsulated subconscious thoughts I would like to think I am capable of and yet had not expressed. Like so many iconoclastic ideas, it was simplicity itself. Sitting there above a spectacularly clear pool on the Metolis River, a place your imagination is NOT fertile enough to conjure, no insult intended, he was telling me he lived in Bend, Oregon and was an aspiring guide who probably fished fifty or more times a year.

I took note that he was not a youngish man, more into his thirties, who had moments before made reference to his wife.

Always keen to know how other fishermen are able to sell their obsessional neurosis to their spouses without risking apolcalyptic outcomes, I inquired how he was able to get so much time for his unhealthy habit. He said that he had told her this weekend he was fishing and told her he was giving her 'the gift of missing me." After wiping the tears from my eyes, you decide their source, I slowly digested the line, like an anaconda savoring a fine feral pig. One reason I enjoy fishing, truth be told, is that you are more likely than not bound to find a character or two, someone whose alignment with the Earth is a bit off and who, as a result, can show you things you had not previously seen. The mystery of human relationships revealed, for example, in a passing comment. I concede that this may not be a gift that keeps on giving, and must be used with particular caution and judiciousness, but when you absolutely must go, when your irritability level has reached redline, and the thought of a river or coastal scene floods your consciousness, lifting you off the banks, and when charm seems utterly beyond your capacity, try this. But don't blame me if, as a result, she gives you the gift of missing her.

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