The fisherman cast his line into the water and grabbed a cold beverage from the cooler.  He cracked open the beer and  took a sip.  Truly, there was nothing in this world that was better than fishing from the river bank on a lazy summer day.

“Hey, Slugger, look alive.”

Slugger McCoy shook himself away from his day dream.  He was the designated hitter in this game, and his mind tended to wander between at bats.  He really wished that he could play in the field and be more involved in the action.  Even better, he wished he was fishing from a river bank on a lazy summer day.

A few minutes later, McCoy was taking a practice swing and stepped into the batter’s box.  A fastball came flying toward him at 95 miles per hour.  Slugger took a mighty swing at the pitch.  The bat made solid contact with the ball, propelling the white sphere into the center field bleachers.  Slugger pumped his fist as he rounded first base.  When he reached home plate, he was buried under a pile of humanity, as his teammates congratulated him and celebrated the team’s first title in thirty years.

“Paging Dr.  McCoy.  Dr. J.B. McCoy, please call extension 182.”

Dr. J.B. McCoy shook himself awake from a cat nap in the doctor’s lounge.  He had just finished a marathon surgery and the page likely meant that he would be heading back into the OR and picking up the scalpel again.  McCoy enjoyed his job – the money was good, and knew that his work had saved the lives of countless patients over the years.  He was at the pinnacle of his profession.  Still, every now and then, he wished he could have been a bit better baseball player and been able to play in the major leagues.

When McCoy answered the page, he found out that he was needed for an emergency surgery.  There was no time to waste – he needed to report to the OR on the double.  “I can sleep when I’m dead,” he muttered.  McCoy quickly finished his coffee and headed toward the operating room to save another life.

Jack McCoy felt a tug on the line and was now completely awake.  He’d only had a couple of nibbles all day, but this one seemed like the real deal.  He and the fish renewed the timeless battle between fish and angler.  Over the years, Jack McCoy had quite often been on the winning side of the battle – but many other times had seen the fish escape to live another day.  This time, McCoy emerged as the victor, reeling in a five pound bass.

McCoy was enjoying his retirement – spending many lazy summer days fishing from the riverbank.  Still, he couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if he had followed his dream and gone to medical school instead of following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and becoming the third generation owner of the local hardware store.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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