Damn it weather. You know I’m trapped here. With nothing but a hollow wooden door between me and that 1980’s microwave. Forced to overhear conversations of ROI and fiscal years and bitching about meetings. I’m crawling out of my skin under this drop ceiling. Stained tiles reporting to duty in a uniform grid. Dude it’s just lifeless. It’s indoors.
You don’t care. You mock me. A perfect sunny, windy morning. My truck should be parked at a boat launch. Not on asphalt. A couple weeks ago a morning just like this watched Jim and I put 5 ducks in the boat. For the first time in years we hunted just the two of us. I killed my first Michigan Gadwall. My brother crushed a big drake mallard. Or last week. The boys and I played hooky. And piled up 9 mallards and a black duck in one of the best hunts of the year. I want to lose sight of flocks in the sun. I want to watch Zeus haul ass through the marsh after downed birds. I want to watch 20 ducks cut into the wind, lock their wings and land on our laps.
Instead I stare at a laptop. Powerpoint presentations. Charts. Graphs. Why can’t you cooperate? Why can’t you keep the birds here until the weekend?
Now a cold, misty rain dotting my window at sunset. Shooting time ends in 30 minutes. I bet the guys in the bay are slaughtering ’em.
Just a little colder and the snow would start. Creeping across the lake. Ominous. Inevitable. The wind picks up. Flakes the size of ping-pong balls stick my gun, to the cattails, to the dog. The ducks respond. Dropping from the sky. Bluebills. Redheads. Screaming over the decoys. Rudy ducks swimming everywhere. Zeus whining with excitement. The sunset hidden by a gray haze. Darkness comes quick. Picking up decoys in a hurry. The cold water burns my hands. Ducks soar overhead taking refuge in the shallow bay.
Do you like punishing me? Because you know where I’d rather be right now. I’m fully aware that I only have a few weekends left in the season. A few more 3 am wake-up calls. A few more waves over the front of the boat. A few more chances to make memories to last until next October. You better be ready. I’m giving it hell this weekend.