Feb 7, 2012

Urban Waters

Probably no, I'll never escape the gravity of the city. Some days I feel like it's the only place with light and some days it's a black hole, from which no light escapes. What am I doing out here? What am I doing in there?

Weightlessly I orbit, and once again I was pulled back into Madison on Friday night. I saw some old buddies, we had some drinks and went out dancing. It was electric. My buddies in the band had people over after the show and then the sun was up. The darnedest thing. I had come down here for some ice fishing on my former home waters, but how can you go to bed when you finally get in a room with your old bowling team and a barrel of beer? 

So we got a few hours of sleep and then we got some breakfast, and then we made our way through the traffic to the lake. And somehow the spot off the American flag was open, so we set our traps on the premium coordinates and got used to fishing with each other again. There I was, surrounded by houses and noise and incoming commercial air traffic with Fritz and Cheeto. There was no wind. It was maybe the finest February ice fishing weather I've ever experienced. Last year we had three good chances at a really big fish on this spot, and that's why we had come back here, and then at 4 the closest flag jumped, and Fritz caught the fish above. It was as if a long-term plan had finally been realized. We whooped it up and probably worried some of the neighbors.

Before dark Cheeto caught another pike, and then a third flag popped and it was my turn...

And I busted the pike badly, and I could tell right away it was not big, but was excited to get one on the ice anyways. I felt the fish running around the beam of light... fighting against the light... or maybe against the gravity of my pull... This was natural. It was how it always was.

I pulled the pike through the hole and looked it in the eye. Now you and I are the same on these urban waters, you poor wild one. Of course the fish was wounded. There was some sort of infection, something hurtful that had never healed properly. 
And I was disgusted by this, but why should I be? Weren't we both still following our instincts despite it all? I put the poor boy back into the lake, and we both weightlessly set back into orbit around these bright lights.