I think of one of those toy birds that balances on its beak, but that’s not quite it. Or maybe the second child on a tire swing. An equilibrium. It comes aboard now. A fifth crew member. His name is Jim Bones. His fingers are puffed and rough, they’ve dug into ground in earlier days. These imprints of past show with even more demand on his face, which holds a grin, but has heavy folds like an unmade bed. Sharon found him on the internet and we’ve been awaiting his arrival. Sharon has been teasing Bruce about his pending new play buddy, both kin of the year 1950. Jim arrives with gusto. He shoots the shit like a true expert and Bruce and Simba take an immediate liking to him. I’m nervous my age and “inexperience” Bruce and Simba are adamant to point out is going to become a larger target. I wait. After he’s finished his first beer he goes to unpack.
I peer down into the cabin. “I grabbed the wrong bag.”
Soon Delta Airlines has him returning to the south end of St. Lucia, an hour and a half taxi. A trade off must be made, he was anxious to arrive at the boat. I take the opportunity to see some of the island and get acquainted with the new person I’ll be sharing space with. History naturally reveals itself. Jim is interesting, really interesting. He went to college, got bored, dropped out, started a career in journalism, got bored, became an Oklahoma cop (drawl included), got bored, and then worked for the UN for 16 years in security and information. This last career move brought him to Kosovo, Bosnia, the Congo, Iraq, and Haiti. A worldly character. He also doesn’t just look at my age, but it is still a factor in his eyes. He leans left. He’s the fine balance that has been needed. As he talks to the cab driver I slowly let this thought materialize, sink in, and watch the action that we move past frame by frame.