Smoke Long Stories

Crew (Day 119: 05/03/13)

As we sit in customs waiting for our exit stamps the officer asks in a stunted manner about the two young man. One black skinned, in a bathing suit steadily eying the television showing the stories of rescued animals, enthralling programing, and the other, legs up, messy hair, continually appreciating the pretty German girl in the office’s corner. The one in the room being questioned, the captain, is quick to reply. “The ugly ones? Yeah, they’re part of our motley crew.”

———

Tomorrow the Free Range Chicken, a 59′ sloop, departs from Trinidad. Over the last week I’ve been able to construct a modest understanding of my fellow crew members. A 60 year old American Republican couple and one Trinidadian Rastafarian. I’ve spent the week being called a young inexperienced idealist. This jest title normally escapes Bruce’s lips after a few ritual rum and Coke Lights. I know where our relationship stands, with 40 more years to my 22, in Bruce’s eyes my reality holds no weight. It is almost invalid. He is the teacher and I am the student.  I have begun to voluntarily let my legs dangle off the seesaw. However, there is a good view while being held up. From here I can see that Bruce and Sharon recognize their luck in finding each other after their respected first marriages. Bruce realizes how important Sharon is. Sharon sees where she is needed. In many ways they embody “the modern American”: both once divorced, both enjoy a stiff spirit, both have had multiple surgeries blamed on old age (17 for Bruce). In true American fashion they have whip crack responses, practically memorized, for each situation, they’re very generous, and they care about the people that directly affect them. Lastly there is Simba. It’s necessary to talk to Simba more, but I like him. I like the whole crew. It is true what Bruce has continually told me, “[I’m] going to learn so much on this boat.”

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