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I spent much of youth carving up the bayous of just north of New Orleans, 'till that fateful day when I became a wanderer. I ran over an alligator. The fin on my 1993 Kidder Redline slalom sliced Clean through the old beast's cranium. Horribly, It was Gaston, The venerable 15-foot alpha-gator Emeritus of the Tchefuncte River. From that day forth, I was a marked man. Every Gator on that river knew my name, and wanted revenge.
Fearing the aptly-named death roll, I fled. I passed the latter half of the 90's in East-Central Alabama, studying philosophy and honing my craft in relative anonymity. That was until I heard a rumor I knew in my heart to be true.
North of Mobile, the state of Alabama is supposed to be devoid of gators. So when a friend told me about gator sightings in a local tributary affectionately (and aptly) named drunk creek, I knew I had been found. Lake Martin fed Drunk creek, and Lake Martin was our ski team's practice site. Drunk creek's water held my scent. Gaston's descendants were on the verge of capturing me.
So I fled once again, this time to the tobacco fields of eastern North Carolina to live as a ski instructor in a small, isolated catfish pond. Inevitably, I caught wind of a gator sighting on the banks of the Cape Fear river. Though an unconfirmed sighting, it was the impetus I needed to leave. AS months passed, I sensed a seething insanity in the family that kept me, as if I were a guest in the House of Usher. Escape compelled me again.
Needing to regroup for a while, I landed back In New Orleans for a time. I knew Gaston's progeny were sullied across the south in their search so I had a window, to once again indulge in raw oysters and shrimp po'-boys.
Quickly, the window shut. On a crescent bend in the Mississippi river, peering eyes followed me, from just above the surface, every time I jogged along the levee. The gators had followed my scent back home. Luckily, a girl from Iowa was kind enough to offer me asylum in the maize-fields of the great white north. There I've stayed, sacrificing the warmth of year-round skiing for the safety of a frigid Gator-barrier.