Monday, August 08, 2005

Fatal Wounds and Hand-Tied Flies

There was once a boy with a fatal wound who decided to go fishing instead of die. His is an incredible story. Frankly I'm surprised it didn't garner more national attention.

Young Nathan P. Halloran, an avid catch-and-release fly fisherman, (do you say "fisherboy"?) was walking to school one morning when he was suddenly mashed practically in two by a runaway road grader. I happened to be nearby, sleeping off a drunk beneath a main street overpass, and bore sole witness.

Nathan gazed down with some dismay at his now translucent abdomen. "Well, this is a most disappointing turn of events." He mumbled to himself. Nathan was an intelligent young lad with a precise and distinct way of speaking. He read at a tenth grade level, a full three grades higher than his age would ordinarily dictate.

Nathan's plan was to become an underwater photographer and filmmaker when he grew up. Since the age of seven he'd been doing pre-production and research for what was to be his first film, a documentary titled: Trout - Silent Glory Beneath the Eddies of America.

I didn't figure he had much of a chance of doing that now. Even a correspondence course in underwater photography is going to take a month or two to complete. By my calculations Nathan had about seventeen seconds to live - give or take six seconds. But then he did something astonishing. Nathan scowled resolutely and lurched himself up onto his elbows.
"No," His voice was calm. "I'm not going to die. I'm going fly fishing." And with that he began dragging himself towards a distant river.

At that point my mind's voices just absolutely started shrieking. For the first time in my life I was stunned into immobility. I stood breathless and trembling on the concrete slope, trying to decide if I should help carry him to a riverbank or not. Would assistance cheapen his accomplishment? But wait, listen to myself, that boy is almost in halves; he's little more than a torso tugging at a pelvis. How on earth is he even going to... but yet, look at that determination. I've never seen so much determination. Perhaps he actually can--

Nineteen seconds later Nathan was dead. "Hey, I was close, only two seconds off." Part of me whispered. The rest of me started craving booze and amnesia like never before.

Somber paramedics did their job. I stood and watched them from the shadow of that overpass. I mumbled Dwight Yoakam songs to myself as tears traced trails through my man-mascara and down my stubbled jaw. And somewhere a thousand trout beached themselves in sorrow.

15 Comments:

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Joe said...

Too funny.

I can only assume that you'll pay tribute to him by carrying out his life's dream.

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

It would be most difficult to manage your fishing rig without being able to prop the pole between your knees. He would have, thus, failed at fly fishing anyway. Don't let it get you down, Latty.

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

That poor boy. If only he had some paraffin wax to fill the gaping hole brutally ripped away by the road grader. A modern tragedy.

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

"..a torso tugging at a pelvis." Do a silent movie so this fine line can be a caption to the event.

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

This is why I always keep a pellet gun handy.

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger Blog ho said...

i don't regret running the little cocky bastard down. arrogance must be met with violence.

 
At 12:33 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

Anyone with a dry eye at this point is surely without a heart.

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger Ghost Dog said...

Little slacker should have decided to try to go to school instead of screwing off. His parents didn't pay taxes so he could go fly-fishing when he should be learnin'. Nurse coulda patched him up.

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger MJ said...

Not a lot of aspiring trout makeup artists out there. This was a sad loss for society. RIP, Fisherboy.

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger katiedid said...

Man-mascara, eh? I am now stragely curious to read a list of Latigo Flint's Beauty Tips for Gunslingers.

Poor young Nathan must have been an awfully slow walker though, to not be able to avoid a road grader. Even a runaway one.

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Out of respect for young Nathan P. Halloran's family I must break form and not individually reply to comments tonight.

Thank you for your kind words. I love you all with the same fervor and passion young Nathan had for trout.

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger tabitha jane said...

wait. you wear mascara?

 
At 8:38 PM, Blogger Kilroy Trout said...

As an avid catch and release fly-fisherman, I completely understand this boy's motivation.

I'd rather fly fish than do anything - even die.

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger Ari said...

Sounds like that road grader was dealing out some unintentional heartache for man, boy and fish alike.

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Keen eyes Katiedid and Tabitha... SHHHHHHHHH!

I hear you Kilroy, I hear you.

Very nice Ari.

"Put the can down honey. Alright, I saw you, put the can down."

 

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