My partner came in the other day after a ride on the Undercliff, with some unfortunate news. “You know those Brighton bikes? People have been chucking them over the side of the seawall!”
This is truly incredible – because those things weigh a ton. But also sad. Because like Brightonians, Minnesotans grow up worshipping the water. My landlocked state is checkered with lakes, sloughs, ponds, rivers, sprinkled across the landscape like windflung seed.
And with this proximity comes, for the most part, a loving respect. But not before encountering the many dangers of the lake – chiggers (usually a Minnesotan’s first – but not last – encounter with flesh-munching parasites), wasps, tangles of slimy weeds, speedboats towing double waterskiers after too many Leinenkugel’s. There was always looming lore about Northerns, a hideous fish that signals it’s stalking by flashing its ghost-white belly – like a Nordic Nessie. It’s got teeth like ice picks and one summer, a huge one was said to have bitten off the big toe of that Larsen girl when she was dangling her feet in the water off the Dahlberg’s dock. Poor girl’s straight line was a bit to the left after that.