Wednesday, January 04, 2006

perseverance.

one time when i was a little kid, maybe like 8 or 9 years old, i was paddling my nana's old rowboat around the lake close to her cottage in new hampshire. It was one of those log cabins like you picture in the pine forest alongside the lake. It was really my Nana and my Grampa's rowboat, because it was an anniversary gift, 25th i think. that's silver. Well, Grampa always called everything at the cottage Nana's, so that's i guess why i call it her row boat. Anyway, it got smashed by one of the big pine trees a few years ago, and now it's in a scrap heap somewhere. I'm not sure if the tree fell over on its own, or if one of my step brothers fucked up with a chainsaw, but in anycase, the biggest pine in the yard came down on top of the rowboat, and i haven't been to the lake in probably 20 years.

But anyway, i was paddling around in it, and staying close to shore so i wouldn't catch hell from Evelyn, she was my "mom". I got adopted when my mother died a few years earlier. She was originally my Aunt, but long story short, then she was my "mom". And she was a fucking bitch. Seriously. All the time. It never stopped. I remember when i was like 3 years old, and we used to go and visit her and her family, how much i hated going over there. The kids were obnoxious and unreasonably aggressive and mean, and she was just this overbearing, overweight creature that yelled at everybody.

Well, somehow, and i'm not sure how, i mean, if i think back to it it was probably some kid thing i was doing, you know, wearing a mask and snorkel, hanging off the back of the boat with my face in the water and my feet hooked under the seat and trying to watch the fish swimming around in the shallows. I was always fascinated with how they made their little nests in the sand, and they had little rocks in there, and just kind of hung around in their little homes. I was one of those really skinny kids, and i imagine i spent just as much time counting my ribs as i did wondering if my biceps would ever be bigger than my elbows... well, somewhere between my Nana's boat dock, the shore, and the neighbor's little beach, i dropped the 15 or 20 lb. anchor off the front of the boat so i could stick around one place and watch the fishes or whatever i was doing without floating out too far in the lake.

But as it turned out, the anchor wasn't tied very well to the rope. A while later, i decided i'd pull the anchor in and go back to shore for a sandwich or something. It was a real peanut butter and jelly on wonder bread with fritos and a coke or wise potato chips and a coke kind of place. But when i tried to pull up the anchor, all i got was about 15 feet of nylon gold line. No anchor.

I paddled around for a while looking all over the place for the anchor. Not a big deal i thought, because i was in fairly close to shore, and the anchor was bright yellow plastic with cut out stars in it. I looked and looked and looked, but i couldn't find it anywhere. I tied the boat to the dock, and put on some little flippers and tried to snorkel around looking for it. After i started to feel water logged and hungry enough that i thought i'd try and get a sandwich before i drowned myself i came ashore and tried to look and see if i could see it from the dock, but i couldn't. The water was too sparkly with the summer sun, and besides, standing around looking for something from the dock was a sure fire way to either

A. get pushed off the dock by one of my redneck brothers
B. get noticed by Evelyn, who would be like the gestapo if i lost something
C. realize how hopeless it was to look for something at the bottom of a lake

so i went to get a sandwich. During that time, my sister decided to take the boat out for a spin. She didn't see the anchor in the boat, and came to ask me about it while i was getting my sandwich. She didn't think anything of it, but asked right in front of Evelyn, who as always, was ready to pounce on any of our failures as children.

"what do you mean you don't know where the ANCHOR IS??!!!" she barked.
"well, i mean, i know where it is, just not exactly... i thought i'd get a sandwich and go back out and look some more." i imagine was my reply.
"OH NO MISTER!!! YOU get your ass back out there and go find it. That's GRAMPA'S Anka!!!"

(yea. she had one of those annoying new hampshire accents too)

so, i had no choice but to get back out there and try to find it. I paddled around, i waded around, my sister tried to help for a little while, but she got bored. Grampa eventually came down to the shore and said not to worry about it, there's probably another one in the shed, and we could just find lost one when they let the lake down for the winter.

But Evelyn wouldn't have it. No sir. "you're going to find that anka mister. and don't even think about coming in for a sandwich until you've found it."

you know the kind.

so, Grampa, not wanting to get bitched at either went back to tending his flowers, my sister went to go shoot the bb gun up in the woods, and my step brothers took to taunting me from the shore.

Finally, as the daylight began to fade, it must have been coming up on 8 o'clock at night by then, i found it. somehow, it had been partially buried under some old rotten leaves, but it was right where i'd been looking all along, i just was missing it somehow. I don't know how i could have missed it, but there it was. I was almost too exhausted to haul it out of the water, but i didn't want to risk losing it again, so i did what i could to keep moving it closer to shore, and finally i was able to drop it into the rowboat.

exhausted, cold, water logged and starved, I came to shore and helped myself to a cold hamburger leftover from the dinnertime bbq. This was right around when the mosquitos started to come out as i recall.

Evelyn came over and said, "SEE?! You found it. You know what that's called?! Perseverance! that's when you don't stop doing something until you've done it. It's what you do. you persevere. If you can't do something, you keep trying until you get it."

I hated her for that. I hated that word ever since. I mean, MY way would have still resulted in the anchor being found, and i wouldn't have lost a whole summer afternoon being pissed about it.

Well. Now i'm 35 years old. I'm still persevering. I spent a whole day trying to update the site like i said, and still i've not done it. It was a beautiful sunset as i could see through my plastic covered window, but i was persevering. not stopping until i figured it out. And it makes me angry as though i were that same kid looking for the damned yellow anka.

I know it's not easy for you out there. The consumer. The one who comes to see the new shit. But just know, that for every time you clicked to see if there was something new, I was most likely sitting right here at this machine trying to make that happen for you. I was doing it yesterday, and i'll be doing it tonight too. Probably i'll be here doing it tomorrow too, because that's what you do. You persevere. i hope you'll persevere with me.

dTown 36˚ listening to Beck's Guerolito, i give it a b-minus. I mean, i don't know if i think Beck should be putting out albums of remixed songs and calling them albums. I mean, let somebody else do that. But i do like the Air remix. Heaven Hammer. that sounds pretty good. maybe it gets a b. but i think it still really only deserves a b-minus.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Liz Wade said...

say, dan, are you the same dan connor who went to calarts circa 1995ish? the one who was always yelling out 'freebird'?
because if so, i think we were friends and i think that you shaved my head one time. in fact, i know it.

email me and let me know: wade.liz at gmail.

3:04 PM  
Blogger han said...

hi dan . . . its han . . . missed you . . . wish i could've watched napoleon dynamite with you and laughed our asses off together . . . wish i could've been there for you through your terrible ordeal . . . your energy . . . your smile . . . love you more than black dudes love white chicks . . . and you can take that to the bank . . .

11:24 PM  

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