Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fly Fishin - 1

Fly Fishin' A Short Story

            I still remember the first time I saw it.  It was lying there like a piece of paradise on the shores of heaven.  It was just a small log cabin.  Not much larger than your average shanty.  The wood had lost the shimmer of youth, but it still maintained that alluring piece of backcountry.  Its green tin roof still emitted a certain luster from its depths.  Little did I know it then…
            This cabin would change my life.
            It was situated right on the banks of the Yellowstone River.  It was so close that some years the water rose just to touch the base of the cabin.  I’ll admit those years I suffered some severe anxiety-watching, hoping.
            Looking back now it still amazes me how it happened.  How I fell in love with Montana, with the woods, with the river, and with that cabin.
            Some years ago I used to be a successful businessman; at least, I always thought I was successful.  I worked at a popular trading firm in Los Angeles.  I spent hours working on algorithms trying to “beat the market” per se.  It was always a guessing game, always full of gambles.  There were days when I would wake up and just know that that was my day.  I was going to get some marginal gain somewhere out there, and for some reason or another it would work out just like I thought it would.
            But then there were the “other days”.  The days when much of the profit I had worked so hard to gain, would be lost in mere seconds.  Those days, when I thought my job was toast, when I thought the world would get rid of me because I had failed to create, I had failed to produce anything of value.
            Those were dark days.
            I would have long talks with my bosses.  They would scrutinize every aspect of my work, as well as everyone else’s.  Trying to figure out just where we had gone wrong, but in the end the conclusion was always the same.  The market was a wild animal.
            Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.
            I never made it big like some people in the business.  I never found myself being promoted to being the top dog.  Even after years with the same company, I found myself doing the same job I had been hired on to do.
            Now don’t get me wrong in thinking that I wasn’t good at what I did.  Indeed, I had many offers from countless companies for me to come work for them.  I had endless business talks over my worth to the company, and offers for promotions, but for some reason I just never felt like I wanted to change jobs.  I wasn’t like most men who aspire for something different, or those fiends who just want to be better than everyone else.  No, I just wanted to do my job.  At the beginning I enjoyed it, and that was enough for me.
            When I started, my job was such a novelty.  It had been what I’d always wanted to do.  I felt like I was fulfilling my goals.  All those years I’d spent studying like a madman in college were for this.  I was making a difference in the world.  I was fulfilling my purpose in existence by giving people what they wanted-money.
            I was wrong.
            I didn’t realize it then, nor do I believe that I really realized it when I finished with the company.  Instead, I found myself obsessed with money.  I fell prisoner, bound head and foot to those things they call “golden handcuffs”.  I didn’t want to leave the company, I didn’t care about promotions, all that really mattered to me were those visions of gold they promised me if I stayed just a few more years.  And each consecutive year those handcuffs got shinier and shinier, until I was imprisoned, shackled to those golden chains of evil.
            But I was happy, or so I thought.  Money gave me everything I really every desired.  I traveled the world first class.  I consummated countless relationships with beautiful women from around the world.  My pleasure-my lust-could find gratification at the mere exchange of those voluptuous green pieces of parchment.
            If only I could go back to those days.
            I was so carefree back then, I provided services to the world, and the world returned them to me; that was how it was supposed to work right?  The cabin changed all that.
            As I grew older I was called into my boss’s office more and more frequently, and by now I was much older and experienced than the man in that room.  Eventually I was told that I was being forced to become part of the Board.  I had too much stock in the company to continue trading stocks.  I told them they were full of it, but to no avail, it turns out they were right.  I had been part of the company for almost 50 years at this point.  And the lawyers forced me into retirement.
            Not that I cared.
            By this time, I was beginning to become disillusioned with money.  I didn’t really understand why at the time, but I realized that I had spent years and years stockpiling, gaining, earning, and now that my utility had passed, I found that money became like water in my hands.
            Utterly useless.
            I traveled again like I used to, I went to brothels and tried to live the life I had been so intent on living years earlier.  I bought nice cars and went golfing with my old buddies, but I couldn’t find the happiness I’d been searching for.
            Then one day I was driving aimlessly outside of Yellowstone National Park.  I was driving north into Montana and came out near the small town of Livingston.
            It was a cold crisp summer morning, the road before me was filled with little road patches, in the workers futile attempts to maintain the road.  Off to the right I saw a long dirt road with a for sale sign at the start of it.
            To this day, I don’t know why I turned down that road in my crimson red Chevy truck, but I did.  I remember every bump from that wishy-washy road.  For some reason, even then, it felt like home.
            And then I saw it, the morning light had just bathed the soft, damp, dark brown wood with light.  I walked up to it, and caressed the old timbers.  Behind, I could see the river winding away; its cold clear depths brilliantly reflecting the morning sun.  And without a second thought, I dialed the number posted, and I bought it.

            Change had come.

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