Like Fishing in a Dry Lake

In my four years on this blog (partially inspired by a then-unemployed friend doing the same at 3 AM), I have written about things that I have experienced, my political views, a few sports related posts, my family and what is like to be a middle-aged man facing the future, changes, and the undiscovered country. I have even picked up a few fans along the way and drawn inspiration from other bloggers, like the rude pundit, drift glass, Charles Pierce, Daily Kos, Rachel Colyer and the wonderfully funny, sometimes annoying (especially with his Friday Lists’ on Facebook), but always enlightening Friedman of the Plains, Barry Friedman.

In my 35 plus years of writing, sometimes even for money, I have seen our country go from being the best educated to behind countries that didn’t exist when I graduated high school.  I have seen people come and go – in and out of my life – and loved a lot of them.  I have been accepted, rejected, mocked, threatened, accused, duped, dumped, blackballed, evicted, homeless, hurt, traveled the world, been lied to, about and betrayed.

And you know what I’ve finally figured out?  That life, for me, is like fishing in a dry lake.  I could have fought it, but with age, I have learned to accept that there are things I can change and things I can’t. Some people call it serenity.  Well, I’m not serene, that’s for sure.  I am still fighting, still struggling to figure out my place in this world and why I am still here while other, more deserving people aren’t.

Fishing in a dry lake.  Sounds like a lyric from “Honky Cat”, by Elton John.  “Like trying to find gold in a silver mine/like trying to drink whiskey from a bottle of wine.” Or maybe the lost first line from “Maragritaville”. “Fishing in a dry lake/watching the sun bake.” Either way it works.  But what does it mean to me?

A lot of things.

It means we are headed towards a barren future if we don’t put aside our differences and work together.  It means that  we are heading the same direction as the former Yugoslavia.  Torn apart not from the outside, but from within.  It means that I have as much a chance of growing old gracefully as does most of my generation.

My adult life, I have never “earned” more than $12,000.  I once worked three jobs and got paid for just two of them.  I worked at a high-end restaurant that was owned by a friend and he “shafted” me, too.  I have gone through so many state programs and the only “job” I got out of that was a “store greeter” position and once the manager got transferred, I was suddenly “not on the schedule” and supposedly was to transfer to another store, closer to where I was living at the time.  Three months later, I finally found out I was fired, only after calling the corporate office.  I once worked at a movie theater and a substitute teacher.

I gave up a long time ago on the “American Dream”.  Or any kind of dream for that matter.  I hold no illusions or delusions anymore.  No one, except those who’ve known me a long time, have any idea what my life is like.  Heck, I just got “threatened” the other day – a joke really, which is why I won’t repeat it, but to think I wasted 12 years of my life on this person, well, another case of fishing in a dry lake.  I somehow survived the worst winter in my life and I’m still here.

Years ago, someone gave me a piece of paper. It was called “My autobiography in five short chapters.” The first three dealing with falling in holes.  Well, I’ve fallen in those holes and survived.  The fourth hole deals with walking around it and the 5th simply states “Chapter 5. I walk down a different street.” I think we all reach that point in our lives. Here’s the complete version:

In the past six months,  I’ve lost two friends near and dear to me and I just found out another one died today.  There comes a point in one’s life when you realize that all you have is your wits and will.  I still have my wits, but my will comes and goes.  Some days are better than others. Making changes in middle life isn’t easy, but sometimes, they have to be made.  I think it’s time to try a different lake.


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4 Responses to “Like Fishing in a Dry Lake”

  1. Dan Riley Says:

    Chapter 6…writing from the wisdom of the first five chapters.

  2. Robin Lux Says:

    Sorry to hear of the loss of another of your friends. You know you are always welcome to come and visit us and stay as long as you like. I just have to figure how to get you and the chair to the second floor. 😀

    Seriously, you are invited, and hopefully soon, we will have a home with a ground floor entrance instead of a second floor apartment with no elevator. Perhaps there will be some water in our lake. ❤

  3. judy clay Says:

    You are always at home wherever Minions graze. I love you, man.

  4. rollingwheelie Says:

    Robin, it’s funny, because a friend of mine said the other day “Isn’t it time to move?” And I said, if I move anywhere, it would have to be someplace warm.

    But I wouldn’t live south of Cincinnati or east of El Paso to save my life. Judy can attest to what its’ like in “y’all country.” Polite, yes. Respectful, sometimes. But still, you couldn’t get me to NASCAR-land (unless you offered to pay) for all the Alfred Hopton insults in the world. LOL

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