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Thrasymachus blog post
This Time, Last Year

Punk Rock Salmon

by Thrasymachus, Jul/19/2021
It was Salmon spawning season, the end of November, and there were dark red Salmon fighting upstream and a red haired guy standing on the riverbank watching them in the red leaf carrying breeze stinking thick of dead Salmon. It’s me and I’m there to watch the Salmon spawn again and I don’t care how bad it smells – the smell is part of it – like the pain of a tattoo. I see thousands upon thousands of Salmon; I see Salmon jumping out of the water; I see Salmon fighting with other Salmon; I see the winners of vicious Salmon rumbles fertilizing the fresh laid Salmon eggs; I see Salmon swimming around doing nothing in particular, and I see Salmon dying, but I only see one Salmon as superabundantly full of life as Punk Rock Salmon. This was the Gretzky and Jordan of Salmon athletics all rolled up into one flaming red flying Salmon.

The place I take all this in is the last rapid before the spawning ground on the American River, just above the Sunrise Blvd. bridge where thousands of motorists drive unawares over thousands of Salmon, pretty much all of which are displaying varying degrees of beat to hell after a hard trip, and the Salmon are probably unaware of the people driving over them, and that this is the last test before the river gets fat and lazy and they’ve made it to their goal. I’ve seen some give up and die right in front of me, literally only twenty yards short of the successful completion of their lives. Whole gangs of Salmon battle in the rapids, and every now and then one will get fired up and jump and just go for it; gathering the last bits of grit and determination in a slow eddy behind a big rock and then with a sudden burst of energy send up a watery rooster tail and shoot forward out of the shallow rapids disappearing into the deep: it is done; it makes it right in front of you. It’s a great thing to see.

I wish my life had such a tangible goal.

But then all of a sudden Punk Rock Salmon hits the bottom part of the rapids and right from the start he’s blasting up so much water that he can’t be missed and then he starts jumping, over and over and higher with every jump until he blows through the rapids like they aren’t even there and he keeps on jumping, he’s in the deep water and he doesn’t even care because he’s Punk Rock Salmon and he jumps and he jumps and he is so alive because life doesn’t just want to merely survive, life wants to really live.

If I were a Salmon, I would want to be Punk Rock Salmon.
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