Did everyone in the U.S. have a happy labor day??? I hope there was fun to be had. It's probably unfortunate this post happens to fall on the Tuesday after labor day, but here it is for what it's worth. Maybe it will cause you to look more kindly upon your own Zombie Deadline Horde? If not, just go ahead, get in line, and slap me in the face right behind Over-Tryer.
After spending the day with Madi and his family, we find ourselves back on Sonrisa. Andrew stretches out in the cockpit with a beer. We watch the lights of Kumai warm to a glow. I try to read a book, peek at the stars, listen to music, write a blog post, anything but my energy is scattered and unfocused. I try to open the conversation about our route timing with Andrew, but he isn't in the mood to kick that plan around right now. I feel untethered, loose from this world. In my gut, I feel a longing to have someone tell me what I should be doing. I romanticize sitting in my office chair with my Outlook Calendar full of deadlines, my full energy directed to meeting all my obligations but just barely. I remember fondly how impossible it is to question your existence when case deadlines march upon you in droves so tight that all you can do is swing your axe faster and faster to cut them all down before the Zombie Deadline Horde eats your face, knowing only that the faster you cut them down, the faster and more numerously they approach. Those were beautiful times in my life…
“SLAP!” Over-tryer observes this line of thinking and gives me a sharp, flat handed “whap” to my face. “Snap out of it! What the hell is wrong with you? I can’t believe you’d be thinking such a thing, what an ingrate. Rediculous, absolutely rediculous….” Having made her point, she wanders off grumbling to return to her extremely enthusiastic effort toward enjoying the starry night. “Andrew! Get me a new anchorage beer!” She calls down to him while he rummages around in the fridge.
“We aren’t at a new anchorage?” He says, confused, but nonetheless happy that I’m making an exception to my current dietary abstinence from Indonesia’s Lager, Bintang.
Over-thinker watches this interaction and knows for sure Over-Tryer’s focus is not circling round to where she wants it. Over-thinker pulls out her “Strategy Making” Trapper Keeper and buries her nose deep in her current project: Reign in Free Spirits. She analyzes our respective motivations to determine how best to manipulate the situation.
“Yes,” Over-thinker thinks as she looks over the lists she’s made. “Everyone delegates power to me when they are afraid.” Over-thinker scratches her chin and a dimple in her right cheek compresses with satisfaction. She knows what she must do.
Not long thereafter, another new friend paddles his canoe to Sonrisa’s side deck. He peeks his head over the rail and smiles. His teeth are all white and straight, his skin glows golden under the full moon and Sonrisa’s anchor light. “Siapa Nama Kamu?” (What’s your name?) I ask.
“Shaman” he responds.
“Sherman?” I ask, not sure I heard right.
Now, I don’t know if Shaman is a common Indonesian name, or if I’m still not hearing this right, but he seems so cheerful and mysterious, his name might as well be Shaman. He asks us the usual gamut: Are we married? How long? Are we sailing around the world? He proclaims this must be a grand adventure, and we agree. With this, he welcomes us to Kumai and says he hopes we can become good friends. Then, right before he leaves, he tips his head to the side and considers something as if he forgot. “How many people are aboard?” he asks. When we respond with just us, you know what happens next…
Shaman ticks his head right and left, clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth. “Married twelve years!? And no babies!?? I have SIX babies!” He tells us proudly. “I think I can help you. I have to go, I will be back tomorrow.” Shaman offers up three different varieties of fruit as a gift and bids us goodnight.
“Sampai Jumpa Nanti” (see you later) I say, waving him away but curious about what he has up his Babymaking-Sleeve. These offertory exercises are always a bit amusing.
“You could inflict serious damage with this thing!” Andrew exclaims, weighing a red, perfectly round ball of spikes in his hand. The fruit is dense and heavy. I give it a sniff and smell the tale-tell combination of old socks and rotting fruit that indicates a local favorite: durian. We try to like this fruit, the locals go crazy for it. For us, it must be an acquired taste yet to be acquired.
“Self defense fruit.” I say, mimicking an overhand throw at the Deadline Zombie Horde.