And I was fighting and thrashing myself over the rocks and through the gullies and up the fish ladders and around the bends to the very top of the mountain from where I came, and from where my spawn would originate like a spiral, spinning endlessly in space.
And a bear slashed out at me and I felt his claws scrape my back and catch my fin but he didn’t get hold and I was free.
And I bit a bug attached to a long line and an old man caught me in his net and molested me and set me back after his exploitation.
And a bird as big as an albatross sang her song and cast her shadow upon the river, sweeping down like a rocket, slicing her talons into the depths where I was just a moment before.
And the pools that distracted me, and the bigger fish that intimidated me, and the endless offshoots and eddies that sent me nowhere at all, and forced me to re-swim my path, increasing the odds that this was my end.
And then I was a man, and I was sitting at a desk in an office far above the rivers and meadows, wearing a pinstripe suit with a vest, typing a memo on my laptop, setting a meeting, taking a call, and biding my time, so as not to attract attention.
And the boy came and put things on my desk and took away my memos and sent them to their destinations.
And my clients came by with candy and tears and a million reasons why they were late.
And my secretary brought me coffee with cream in a big cup that said World’s Best Fisherman.
And the operator put through the calls as if I were able to help, and the clock kept ticking, until my boss came in and told me that if I didn’t start keeping regular hours and turning in my sales reports and attending the meetings, I was finished, do you understand, finished!
And then I was a fish.