Welcome back to our “ask” series, in which a local resident of the past or present answers questions from this week’s mailbag. This week’s column features a North Atlantic Cod.
My girlfriend is really jealous. Every time I get a text from another girl, she demands to see it. It’s irritating, because I have a few female friends that I talk to once in awhile. I mean, it’s 2014, right? She even questioned a conversation I had when I said “I love you” – to my cousin, after a death in our family! I have never given her reason to be jealous, and my texts are always totally normal – same stuff I text my male friends. I love my girlfriend and I want to marry her someday, but not if she’s going to be like this forever. Do I confront her, or do we go to therapy, or do I just move on now before I live with this the rest of my life? Help!
Got a Green Eyed Girlfriend in Rockport.
Dear Green Eyed:
One time I had a girlfriend like that, but then she got caught in a gillnet, so the problem solved itself. It’s actually kind of hard to be jealous because there’s pretty much no other cod left for me to talk to, so I don’t know how to answer your question accurately. I would say that you should maybe keep looking. There are other fish in the sea. I mean that’s just a saying, in reality there are not a lot of fish in the sea. I wish there were more fish in the sea, actually. I miss my family.
I recently lost my job, and my mother in law has been talking behind my back, saying I was fired and that I’m not a hard worker. She has never liked me, but now it’s completely obvious. I was let go because the company went bankrupt, and I was the sales leader! Her awful gossip could cost me a new job in our small city, and I have her daughter and our three kids to support. My wife is horrified, but doesn’t know what to do – her mom is is an important player in town politics. This is a nightmare for us! How can I get a new job now?
Jobless in Salem
I don’t really know how jobs work. I mean I hear gossip through the seaweed (get it – because we don’t have grapevines underwater?), but mostly it’s about how fisherman are losing them because there’s not enough of me around. Is that the kind of problem you are having as well? Is sales the same thing as fishing? Because let me level with you: I am trying so desperately to repopulate the cod population, but Sheila doesn’t want a boyfriend and Leslie is already dating Tom and I’m getting too old to be spreading my cod sperm willy nilly like when I was younger. And really, who wants their kids eaten by pasty tourists? I can only do so much for you folks. But as for your mother in law, have you tried some kind of flash-frozen patty technique for her? Ask around, I know a guy.
I am sixteen years old, and I don’t know what the meaning of life is. All you do is go to school or work until you retire, and most people can’t even do that, and then you just die. I can’t really have fun in my life anymore because all I think about is how futile it really is. Am I depressed, or is everyone around me just too busy to have an existential crisis?
– Melancholy in Magnolia
Listen, I’m a cod. All I do is swim around all day until something big eats me, or I get caught in a net by some guy in Grundens listening to Tom Petty. You think I haven’t been awake at night, listening to the tide, wondering if the unending blackness of night is how life after death feels? I have deep thoughts too. But the thing is, you can’t get so caught up in how life is meaningless that you forget to live! There’s stuff worth living for. Like eating. Do you know how good mussels and crabs taste? You probably do, since you people eat them by the wharfload so I have to really hunt for them. But it’s worth it for that moment. Life is a series of moments you enjoy, mixed in with moments you don’t enjoy. Embrace your friends, you never know when you’ll suddenly be flopping on the deck of a ship, gasping for breath, wondering if you’ll ever see Sheila again. Fuck. Life sucks.