• drip drip drip

    by Adam Trahan

    One of the first things I had to do was to get everything out of the attic. Twenty five Rubbermaid plastic bins of memories that I have not touched in five years. Melissa had found our new home on an Internet search. It is in Arcadia, one of the best neighborhoods in Phoenix, old money. We were moving soon and I thought that starting from the top down would be best. The access to the attic was in the garage rod shop where I made my bamboo rods. I hated going in there, like the attic, it contained so many memories, so much stuff that I was going to have to purge and let go of. The next phase of our lives needs to be lean and ready for change.

    Twenty five boxes of memories, how am I going to get rid of it all?

    I have heard it over and over, if you haven't used it in a year, you don't need it. So I sent Elijah up there to start downloading the bins. We pulled the ladder down carefully missing the rod rack where there were rods in various states of being finished, but one that I used. Elijah kept pulling bins and handing them down. Jacob moved them to the back patio stacking them up. The whole job took about an hour. An hour to move thirty years of collecting stuff and now I'm going to get rid of it all?

    The boxes sat stacked up for a week before I started in on them. I pulled the first one down, photographs. The first envelope was photographs of a early trip to my favorite stream in the White Mountains. Pete was in most of the photos casting the little Sage LL that we had assembled from components. This was early on in the life of smallstreams.com and we had started in on making tutorials how you could build your own fly rods instead of buying them, making them custom with components you liked instead of what a company decided to make them out of, choices, we wanted to give you choices. I went through a few old photographs and decided that I would keep them because the photographs represented something that was easy to store yet contained so much, sort of like the Internet.

    The next bin was filled with the contents of the desk I maintained at the University I used to work at. Memorabilia that was important to me at the time, the handle to an old heart lung machine, a set of tubing clamps, an old Monte Blanc pen that is broken and the address of the repair center to send it to for replacement. Keep the hundred dollar pen, everything else goes. I used to think that the pen gave me status, I used it to write many stories, sign contracts and then I dropped it in the lab one day as I bent over, it broke into a couple of pieces. Write there on the spot I decided that I was going to let go of the idea of how a pen could represent status, just like the pen, material representations of status could be broken in a second, a inexpensive gel pen, a Pilot G-2 wrote so well, felt good, $2.

    The next bin contained two cases of cassettes. Most were of high quality blanks that were loaded with bootleg recordings of the Cure, Depeche Mode and other favorites from the eighties. I had purchased them from an audiophile who had gathered them from others from around the globe. Most of the recordings were from Europe and were very clean. On the way to work today I was listening to one of the tapes, a Cure song, "10:15 Saturday Night"
    Right now it is 3:59 a.m. on a Thursday morning, I'm sitting in a dark silent home, we have already moved and I'm reflecting back on it. It's raining, the boys are asleep, Melissa just got up and came down the hall to see what I was doing. She knew once she saw me, I told her she might like this story, I knew I did.

    All the things of that boxes besides the pen and the cassettes went into the Goodwill pile.

    I went through twenty five Rubbermaid bins and one made it through, a pen, photographs and cassette tapes. All are vehicles for mnemonics.

    This was going to be easy after all.

    Behind me on a shelf was my fishing gear, nearly all of it. Three bamboo rods that I made, four tenkara rods, their associated spools and three nets. My fly boxes and waders in a closet in the bar. All of my rod shop in the garage in boxes, soon all of that will be gone, eBay, craigslist. All that is left is the equipment I need to go fishing. I don't need to make rods to be a fisherman, I know now.

    I hate the Internet, no, that is not really true, I love it. The Internet is what you make it.
    Wow, reminds me of that song from the movie "Snatch"

    And I say
    I don't like reggae no no
    I love it
    I don't like reggae oh no
    I love it
    Don't you cramp me style
    Don't you queer on me pitch
    Don't you walk thru my words
    'Cause you ain't heard me out yet

    Things change, life changes, you hang on to what is important and you move on.

    Behind me on a shelf is a memory waiting to happen. A rod that I bought, a Shimano fly rod, straight from Japan. Nearly fifteen feet long, yes, things are changing and it's like that old saying. "The more things change, the more they remain the same."


    This last year and some change, I have not turned a reel or shot line and I have not missed it one single bit. I've caught more fish than I can shake a stick at and I've been fly fishing. I've been writing stories about fly fishing, creating memories, going to town on it. In the garage is my rod shop in boxes, all of it slated to go, in boxes to goodness knows where and I look forward to it. Not sad, nothing like it. My old home gone in a short sale, don't miss it. I'm in my new home in a million dollar neighborhood and what I pay for rent is a third less now that what I paid for to live in a bario.

    I'm as happy as I have ever been, life is good.

    In a few minutes, I'll pull out an old cast iron skillet, a Lodge that I purchased for my fishing trips to Lees Ferry about fifteen years ago. I'll fill it with bacon and eggs, wake up the boys, get them ready for school. I'll fill the house with the smell of breakfast, it will last a day or two and then it will fade...