I was driving the inflatable coach boat in yesterday, near the end of practice, to pick up two sailors who'd headed in early due to the crew's knee issues. I passed the 'No Wake' buoy at the coast guard station and throttled back, impatiently. As I looked around at the coast guard vessels and the pelicans swooping and diving, my mind was on the sailors practicing. They were running a plus/minus drill, which would keep them going for a while, but I wanted to get this pickup done as quickly as possible to start a couple of races. I was hot. The breeze was good but starting to die. I thought about the pairings I should set up for the next day's practice. The drive in felt slow. I wasn't irritable, exactly, but I was impatient and distracted.
And then suddenly I pulled back for a moment and saw myself from afar and thought, "This is my life," and the whole thing seemed unbelievable and miraculous. I could see the green lawn of the USF campus stretched out in front of me with palm trees all around, and there were my sailors on the dock, walking towards me. I'm here in Florida, in a fast motorboat, putting in to get some college students. I'm in a tank top, a whistle around my neck, the sun on my skin, the faint odor of Coppertone in the air. This is what I get to do, what I'm paid to do. I glanced up at the big ugly office buildings and imagined air conditioning, stark grey carpets, photocopy machines and fluorescent lights. Most people work in places like that, I thought. This is so great. I wanted to gun the engine a little bit with delight, but it was a no wake zone, so I had to wait until I got back out into the bay to open her up.