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“Going with the flow, yo, is not weakness; riding the waves or kayaking the rapids is about control–keeping aware, focused and present.” (8/11/2019)

“Why are you telling me this, boss?”, Bilta replies as he shuffles in his seat on the kayak.

“Because, Bilta”, I reply as I dip my paddle in the water, “you are in charge of steering and we are going directly at that rock!”

“I can change course in time.”

“I don’t disagree with what you are saying”, I respond as I sigh, “but, it’s better to readjust trajectory now then at the last minute.  It’s more fun when there’s less drama and uncertainty.  I want to enjoy this mission.”

“I am having fun, boss!”

“Only because you are scaring me with your reckless fucking kayak maniac manuevering!  And, please, don’t do a roll in the water again–especially without telling me.  I was trying to eat my sandwich and it got wet.  I only ask one thing–don’t roll the kayak when I have food in my mouth, yo.”

“I thought it was funny.”

“I haven’t punched you in the face in a while”, I respond as I shrug, “there’s no time like the present–I guess that’s why it’s called the ‘present tense’.  Because you are making me nervous.”

“I am completely in control.”

“It hardly seems that way.”

“I am master of the kayak.”

“You’re certainly a master of something”, I respond as I reach into my bookbag and grab a ham sandwich, “hey–did you want one?”

The kayak flips into the water and then out.

“Oh my God, Bilta!”, I yell as I look at my ham sandwich float away down stream, “I told you one thing–don’t roll when I’m eating.”

“I had to, boss”, Bilta replies as he chuckles, “we were approaching a rock.”

“No we weren’t!”, I respond as I sigh, “you literally just say what you want to justify doing what you have already decided upon–consider the situation before deciding the correct action.  Having your mindset is a sure recipe for failure–stick with keeping us in motion on this river.”

“No”, he replies as he points to the submerged rock behind the kayak, “I’m not lying–you see it there.  I didn’t see it until the last minute under the water.  It could have sunk our ship–please forget about your sandwich, for this moment, and remember that the first priority is the safety of us and the kayak.  I can’t help what obstacles we face at the last minute–that’s why I have to keep paying attention to what’s going on.  Fuck your sandwich–let me do my job.”

“Strong words, Bilta!”

“I have been reading a book that says we should own our dialogue–that means to say directly to the person honestly.  It means that instead of going behind your back–we’ll have a conversation as equals.  You aren’t as great as you think, and I’m not as bad as I tell myself.  We are somewhere in the middle–rather comparable.”

“I don’t think that I’m equal.”

“It doesn’t mean that our opinions have the same weight–but for your characterisitcs, and mine, we are average for how we are, uniquely.  Does that make sense?”

“I’m not paying attention.”

“It means”, Bilta continues speaking as he puts his paddle back in the water, “for an average man with an average job in an average town, you are average–as a velociraptor, I am also.  We’re hardly extremes, either way–we’re, rather, neutral and can just enjoy our time without the need to find partners to our positions.”

“I read once”, I reply to Bilta as I take a bite of sandwich, “that understanding the counter arguement is a sign of intelligence–bein able to articulate your opposites position is a sign of strength, in place of needing allies.”

“We aren’t allies or enemies”, Bilta replies as he sweeps his paddle through the water, “just equals–if you want to consider spending less time eating and more time paddling, you could also be helpful: a friend.”

“So ok?”, I reply as I roll my eyes, “so the reason for this mission is that the river level has dropped and we need to chart a new course for the Kayak Adventure Race 2015.”

“Yeah”, Bilta replies as his paddle scrapes against a submerged rock, “maybe, they should skip kayaking and making it a running event, instead?”


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“Bilta–get a sweet beach house, yo; have seven rooms with seven windows and six doors”, I shrug, “you can’t enter.” (8/8/2019)

“Why would I want that, yo?”, Bilta replies as he takes a bite of hotdog, “I like my apartment.”

“It’s great!”, digital.Bilfty2.1 responds as he shuffles on the small bright blue beachtowel on the sand.

“I love the beach”, I explain as I roll my eyes, “it has sand and water; it’s hot; there’s a couple coconut stands over there that have delicious food that is very tasty.”

“I love coconuts!”, Bilta yells as he turns his head to the surfers in the water, “I mean… if I didn’t have an allergy to them, they would, probably, be great to eat!”

“I don’t disagree.”

I grab a plastic bag with a ham sandwich from my bookbag.

“Anyone else hungry, yo?”

I turn my head to Bilta and digital.Bilfty2.1.

“My wife”, I continue speaking as I sigh, “thought that it would be good idea to pack us lunch to eat on this mission.  There’s sixty-two more digital.ham sandwiches in my bookbag should you get hungry now or, apparently, in the next two months?’

I shrug.

“I guess that she cares?”

“She does”, Bilta replies as he turns his head to me, “she wants you to be well fed and happy.”

“How would you know this?”

“That’s what she wants”, he replies as he shrugs and turns his head back to the water.

“I want a bag of digital.papitas”, digital.Bilfty2.1 responds as he turns his head to me, “you got any good flavors in there?”

I let out a deep breath.

“Nope–we just have sixty-two ham sandwiches.  There’s nothing to wash them down with, nor potato chips to snack on in the meantime.  We, literally, just, only, have ham sandwiches in extremely large quantity.”

“Yeah, ok?”, digital.Bilfty2.1 replies as he rolls his eyes, “so are you going to give me one or just talk about it? I’m actually pretty hungry after finishing the mission today and want to eat something.”

I reach into my bookbag and grab a sandwich; I hand it to him.  He pulls off the digital.plastic and takes a bite.

“Wow!”, he exclaims as his eyes gets big, “that’s a fuck load of hot sauce on this. Oh. wow. I’m kinda surprised–wasn’t expecting that!”

I hand him a napkin.

“Yeah–that’s her thing.  She fucking loves hot sauce–doesn’t understand why I don’t.  But, anyways, that’s a conversation for a day called not today.”

“There’s potato chips in the sandwich!”, Bilfty exclaims as a small bite of food falls out of his mouth, “this is, kinda, the best fucking sandwich that I’ve ever eaten–give me two more.”

“I want to try one!”, Bilta replies as he reaches his hand out, “give me five.”

I hand him the bookbag; he reaches in and grabs a handful.

Tearing off the plastic, he takes a bite. He grimmaces.

“This one is sour”, he explains as he chews, “I think that there is tamarind on this–it’s strange, yet tasty.  I have to actually consider this for a moment before reporting back on my food findings–I like it but I’m not sure how or what to say about it.  I feel like it is for a very particular palette.”

“Sometimes you find something great”, I reply as I roll my eyes, “but, it may not be perfect for everyone.”


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