the last ride of the starcraft.
here, we should be put in the bitching room, for bitch we will. and let be.
my life has been a hell hole of stress over the past several weeks. many, many storms have converged. i'd be in the confessional if i wanted to elaborate. i can't. i can give a p.sa for none seppos. if you feel you need to talk, find someone to talk to. it helps me dearly. i can't wait for the next visit. whatever the issue is, you don't gotta bear it alone.
we were camping people as kids. it was cheep and fun. we camped in a 60s era camper my grandpa gave to my father. those campers back then were like tanks. it must have weighed a ton. heavy canvas, hot as hell in the morning. but great.
we started our annual campout in that camper and we had to use 2x4s to hold up the top, and we tied the fucker off to trees for stability. country folk do such things. it worked. we made fun of ourselves. we had fun. that was 21 years ago. a decade ago me and my old man went in on halves on a new camper. it was a 90s vintage. it was lightweight and easy to set up, but it wasn't super sturdy. we loved it the first year we had it to camp in. the next year my old man called me on opening day of fishing season, the weekend before our annual. he said, pal. we gotta problem with the camper. i didn't wanna hear that, i was knee deep in stockies. quantity over quality. a day of the people. but i went home. it had been decimated by mice.
the damage was remarkable. i took one look and said fuck this shit. things dead to me. my old man said hey, lets give it an hour and see how it goes. if its too much, we'll see if we can buy new canvases. so we gave it an hour. my old man was a hard ass worker and he had a great attitude about it. i had fallen on hard times back then and i had moved back in with him and ma to save up some coin. it was then that i met who is now my wife. it was then that i really decided to become a man. a lot of it was my fathers influence on me.
i got into the cleaning. his good attitude rubbed off on me and we got the music going. he loved neil young. we shop vacd the fucker, we started scrubbing. bleach and brillo and elbow grease. we cleaned and cleaned. after a while, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. we were going to be able to camp in the camper. we did it together. that period of time was when i was closest to my dad in my whole life.
we went camping the next week and he died in the bathroom and i found him. i confessed this story once, its buried in the bitching room.
life went on. a few years later i ponied up the coin for a brand spanking new used camper. i've had it for a few years and its been fun to camp in. but i have realized over the past few weeks that it is a symbol of the worst day of my life. i walk directly past the talisman of doom that causes me stress and anxiety. i literally walk past, daily, the visage of the most traumatic event of my life. what a fucking dumb ass. i don't need to do this. for one weekend a year. i told my wife, i'm selling the fucking camper for whatever coin i can and we're getting a tenting outfit with that coin. she said, good. it sits out there and it tortures you. she is the greatest thing that has and ever will happen to me.
i went out there this morning bright and early, before tumbling class with the kids (10:30). i popped the fucker up to a sheer devestation.
this is why we don't leave the fucking curtains in a camper. whoops.
broken lawn mower on the other side. brambles in the back. ratchet, my boys call this shit. i call it country.
so fuck this. we're still going to tumbling. then i'm going to the store for a shitload of bleach and brillo. camp is this fucking thursday and i've got shit all week jamming me up until then. and i'm going to go. i set up a table, i put on some music. i got out the elbow grease.
i saw one. i got mad lucky. not a marksman.
after a slow start, the big rig started rolling downhill. my uncle jim came by to offer moral support. he has pulmonary fibrosis and is on oxygen and the never moving list of $1.5mil kidney transplants. he can't get dirty cleaning, but he has always been there to help me out and in my shitstorm of recent stress he met me out on a well stocked river and i laid down heavy on him and he gave wonderful advice and comforted me. i love this man. he talked me down and we just talked. he isn't supposed to drink in case the miracle call comes in and he has to leave for boston to get his new lung. we had 1.5 each, half each on shares and we talked for better than an hour. it was cathartic. he told me he was feeling very grateful of late, and he told me that he was so sorry the mice had destroyed my camper. he meant it. i appreciated it.
i made a live capture. the intention was to jab a hook through this mouse and toss it out into a bass pond. but it died before i could do so. and i cleaned till well past dark anyhow.
at this point, i wouldn't sleep in it yet. but i got 3 days to bleach and scrub and soak the fucker. then, after next weekend, thats it. no more campers for this guy. this is it boys, the last ride of the starcraft. if i can get there in one piece, i'll catch a hundred stockies, hopefully win the fishman of the year award (biggest trout) and eat some great food. i'll fish with my brothers and my friends, i'll be ok. you just gotta keep on going. and talk to someone when you need to.