Obsession is kin to true love. If you let your mind wander where does it go?
A prairie pothole in North Dakota. A north wind in my face at sunset. A river in Montana. Dry flies bobbing in the riffle over browns and cutties. A humid August night in northern Michigan. Bass exploding through the lily pads to crush a rubber frog.
It’s hard to concentrate. Hunting season is close. Like heart-pounding, every time I catch a glimpse of my decoys in the garage, close. Fishing is still going strong. There’s bass to catch before swapping my baitcaster for my Benelli every weekend. Geese. Salmon. Grouse. Within weeks I’ll have so many options for fish and fowl I won’t be able to stand it. This time of year, my thoughts aren’t my own.
I feed the obsession hoping to clear my mind. I just got back from Montana. I close my eyes and still see mountains. When I open them, I see strip malls. I flip through old photos on my phone. I can smell the rain on the prairie mixed with wet, muddy, duck-dogs. Then I’m snapped back by the smell of asphalt road work. Late August makes it hard to stay in the city. The only cure is more time on the water. More time in the woods. But Monday’s just reset reality.
Sometimes, I wonder if I have a problem. Like those people on A&E who compulsively eat detergent. I wonder what an intervention would look like? My family telling me that they miss me. That even when I’m around, I’m not really present. My brain is off somewhere in the woods. And my body is out in the garage working on the boat. I can’t help it. I’m so focused on that next grouse. That next flock of geese. That next cast to whatever fishing is biting. What’s a guy to do? There’s no time to feel guilty about it. I only want that rush of setting the hook or pulling the trigger. I don’t mean to hurt anyone.
Obsessed? Maybe. But if there’s a pill for this condition, I don’t need it.