Inefficient Traps

So I went out on a lobster boat with a couple friends this week.  That’s a line, I can say with some certainty, I never expected to utter.  A lobster boat?  Like, on the ocean?  Isn’t that dirty and smelly and, um, well, mainly dirty and smelly?

The answer is yes, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, I was on a lobster boat.

I had a really good time.  The people I was with are funny and smart and we have a lot in common and it was nice to not only be NOT in my house at the moment, but not have the option of being in my house.  To not be able to run off.  Sometimes I need that.

Anyway, lobster boat.  Lobster traps are pretty cool things, if you ignore the bag of rotting fish hanging in it.  Here’s a diagram:

I am not sure what I was picturing when I heard “lobster trap” before, but it wasn’t that.  I guess something more like a mouse trap?  Or one of those fox traps with a box and a stick and something yummy?  I don’t know that I had any picture in mind, but it certainly wasn’t that.

Being who I am, and knowing that I was going to go out on a lobster boat, I did what any even mildly-tech-savvy 20-something would do – I went to wikipedia and typed in “Lobster Fishing.”

Wikipedia would like me to know that lobster traps are “inefficient” and, according to the article cited for that adjective, 94% of lobsters go in, eat, and leave.  Even the ones that are “salable.”

Thanks, wikipedia, for making my life so easy.

I don’t really think that lobster traps are “inefficient” though.  I think that the fact that the lobsters can get out is pretty cool.  I also think that they make a REALLY awesome metaphor.


Sometimes I get to feeling a little stuck in Maine.  I don’t really know where I’m going next, I don’ t have any better offers of a place to live, I have a couple friends here… it’s certainly not bad.  I’m a lobster that struggled to get into that trap.  It was a bitch to get in, the food is OK, and considering how hard it was to work into this thing it hangs out for awhile before trying to figure out how to get back out.

We’ll ignore the part where the trap is pulled up from the bottom of the ocean, the lobster removed and tied with rubber bands, and then thrown into a bucket to be sold to be eaten.  It doesn’t work with my metaphor so… ignore the man behind the curtain.

But I CAN get out.  that’s the thing.  I can leave, and I can leave relatively easily.  I have the resources, the knowledge, the drive, and the determination to go off on awesome adventures.  If I want to.

Or I can hang out here for awhile.  Or a little longer than awhile.  My life has become something pretty amazing.  That’s another thing we talked about on the boat.  I was never supposed to get out of a gang riddled area of Southern California.  And look where I live!  Look what I have built for myself!  Look what I pulled off without the initial support of, well, anybody!

I can always scoot out of the trap for a weekend here and there; conferences, workshops, and maybe even one of those “vacation” things.  And I can come back here, to a place that I call home now.  To this “inefficient” trap.


One Comment to “Inefficient Traps”

  1. I really like the writing. I love metaphors like you do and this was a wonderful one (once you had eliminated the lobster-person). I, also, like that there was less angst and more about possibilities. Finally, I love your sense of humor–sometimes strangely it makes me a little sad, this time I smiled most the way through.

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