I’ve just awakened from the most incredible dream. I dreamt I spent the entire summer floating down beautiful rivers, laughing with friends, staying up late to watch movies with my daughter, eating cheeseburgers and cupcakes every day…and catching lots and lots of fish. No, there’s no need to pinch me. It was too good to be true, I know it had to be a dream.
I am finally back in Austin and as I wipe the sleep from my eyes, the sights of my house (and my reality) are slowly coming into focus. Piles of mail and laundry are lined against the wall, jockeying for my attention. Emails are stacked up in my inbox impatiently tapping their toe. Light bulbs that were charged with feigning activity in the house have long since abandoned their duty and quietly flamed out.
The alarm sounded this morning and we clicked into a familiar old routine. That’s right, Little Chick started back to school, and it felt great to be back. Seeing friends and swapping stories from the summer. But as I stood in a parking lot adorned with tennis skirts, pearl studs and running shorts, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was just recently in a parking lot filled with technical shirts and trailers.
You see, in my dream I went in and out of a lot of flyshops. From the outside each one had its own character, but once inside the banter was witty and the fishing reports were always good. In the glossier shops the TARPON video played on a flatscreen TV while guys compared notes on the new sharkskin line. The AC and the beer were chilled to perfection. In the more remote locations they sold homemade floatant and closed the shop each time they ran a shuttle.
It was so strange because in this crazy dream there were bugs everywhere and we all seemed so happy about it. And there were trout that jumped from the water like they were performing at Seaworld. There was a rock shaped like a beaver, a jukebox that always had free songs on it, and snowcapped mountains in the middle of July.
We traveled by steam engine through hills filled with gold and found a vintage candy store and homemade ice cream. Oh, did I mention there was no dieting in my dream? I lived on french fries and steaks and blueberry pie and red velvet cupcakes. And there was a bus filled with Tex Mex food! And this is the craziest part…. it was delicious. Really good Tex Mex food outside of the Lone Star State? I know. I told you it was a wacky ass dream.
There were brown trout and rainbow trout and brook trout. I have visions of bent rods and dusty roads and white fluffy clouds. And a really handsome guy who kept rowing me down the river day after day. He didn’t read sonnets to me, but he did tie on my flies and shower me with compliments. And good heavens, did he put me on the fish.
Sugary carbs, honkytonk bars, and big beautiful trout. This summer was a dream alright. Oh there’s much to tell! But don’t worry, I’ll share all the stories with you. And there’s no rush, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon…