Jason comes from a long line of Rumford, Maine, fishermen. His father, Larry III, was a fisherman. His grandfather, Larry Jr., was a fisherman. His great-grandfather, Larry, was a fisherman. In fact, his ancestors going all the way back to Scotland all fished for a living. They kept their family fishing boats purring like a kitten. They kept the fishing net strong and neatly mended. This particular boat had been part of their family for nigh on 100 years. A-yep.
Larry Jr. was looking forward to his grandson Jason taking over the family’s fishing business. He was tired, and so old that he could barely remember what Bill Belichick looked like. Jason had been accompanying his father Larry III on the boat since he was a little boy. It was true that Jason seemed a bit different from the other fishermen’s kids and grandkids. Larry Jr. blamed it on his son for naming his boy Jason instead of the expected Jason IV.
“Names are important,” he tried to explain to Larry III. “Larry is a name you should be proud of.”
“I am very proud of the name Larry,” Larry III told his dad. “But it’s time that we start shaking things up a bit in this family. It’s time we accept that it’s the 21st Century. Larry is a 20th Century name. Jason SCREAMS Millennial.
But Jason is keeping a secret from all of the Larrys in his life. He can barely think the words much less say them out loud to his father Larry Jr. The fact is that Jason has no interest in fishing. In fact (and these are the words he has never told anyone), Jason has motion sickness. The truth of the matter is that he carries barf bags in his pocket. When he is feeling particularly nauseous, he hurries down below deck and tosses his cookies into the bag, and throws the bag overboard. There have been reports of pods of dolphins with plastic bags on their noses. Jason feels badly, but what is he to do? When Larry III asked Jason why he was wearing a patch behind his ear, Jason told him it was Apples’ latest ear buds.
Jason knew the only thing he could do was to run away from home. He needed to get as far away as possible, and as far from the sea as he could get. He looked at a map, and chose Mesa, AZ. There would be no oceans within a couple of hundred miles.
Without telling a soul, he flies to his new home. He plans on letting his parents know he’s safe and where he is once he is settled. Until then, he wants to keep his location a secret. He found a small furnished house in east Mesa, and put down a rental deposit. He hung kokopellis on his walls and put fake iron javelinas in his front yard. Anything but lobsters. The closest he came to a fishnet was an Indian dreamcatcher that he put up behind his bed.
The neighborhood was quiet. He kept his lights dim to avoid being seen. There was one close call when the man next door introduced himself. Up to that point, Jason had only seen him from the waist down as he mostly had his head inside the engine of a Ferrari.
“We’d love to have you come over for a cocktail sometime,” the man said. “Maybe we can include shrimp cocktail!”
“I’m allergic to shellfish,” Jason said, firmly.