Thursday, March 25, 2010

The First

Here in New York, the first of April is a special day; for the bug chucker, it is the unofficial beginning of spring. It is a day full of hope and anticipation; a day when everything is possible, and dreams can come true. Here in in New York, April 1st is the opening day of trout season. I haven't missed wetting a line on the opener in over 15 years.

Until this year. Work. Students. Contracts. Children and other familial obligations. Everything in my world has conspired to ensure that April 1st, 2010 is - for me at least - wholly uninspiring and devoid of running water or spotted fins. Naturally, the weather promises to be exceptional, and the water levels are just where I'd want them to be. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, "Poo-tee-weet? So it goes." I'll spend the day sitting behind my desk, and from time to time I'll look longingly and forlornly out the window. I'll sip at a stale cup of coffee, assign vocabulary drills to the few students foolish enough to show up for class, and obsess about how Adam, Ben and Shawn are doing.

Of course, Adam will hit all the usual spots. He'll certainly fish the pine tree pool and the falls. He might even make it over to the confluence of those two little streams we both love so very much. Adam and I have been fishing opening day together for nearly twenty years, and that we usually hit a few on the first day out is not so much a testament to our skills, but rather to the miles under our boots. Ben will be in Minnesota fishing the south shore of Lake Superior for steelhead. Shawn will be dapping water in Wyoming, on the company's dime no less.  

So it goes. Right? It was only a matter of time I suppose. I had to miss one sooner or later, and I guess it's better that I get it out of the way now, when I still feel like I've a few opening days left in me. And I suppose I could be paying my karmic dues. Maybe the second day of April will be something special.

Maybe, but probably not.

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