Wednesday, September 29, 2010

life savers

Way way waaaaaay back when, when I was a teenager, I used to work at the boat show. Every year. Not the new boat show, but the used boat show (a spring event). A good friend and I would stand in a little wooden booth and sell tickets. And there was always this guy, somewhat older, an exhibitor representing Achilles inflatables, who would come visit, chat, joke, shoot the breeze (which sounds nautical enough, but what does it mean??).

I remember he was the Achilles rep., because he always gave us t-shirts — and asked us to wear them — that said ACHILLES INFLATABLES across the front in big bold letters. We didn't hesitate; they were free t-shirts. We wore them.

I thought about that (and that guy) recently when I saw an Achilles inflatable in the street. Yes, the street. Somewhere in the Point. It was being lugged via trailer down the sidewalk toward the water by a guy — not young, but younger than I — in hip sandals. Which made me feel really old. And tired. And, when I looked down at my decidedly beat-up flip-flops, un-hip.

And it made me ask, all the while realizing it's the same question everyone asks: "How did so much time slip by??"

Seriously, I feel old and tired (deflated??) enough at this precise moment, pushing 10 p.m., that I could really use a life saver (if only little round candies had such power), a life preserver (even better!), a tug boat (to give me a pull), an Achilles inflatable (to give me a ride), lest I forget what I'm saying and start repeating repeating repeating myself ...

I'm still friendly with that friend — my fellow inflatable — with whom I sold tickets. We don't get together often, but we do get together. That pumps me up (gets me pumped??). Then there are new friends; one in particular comes to mind, as she and I are in the same boat kid-wise, i.e., no kids at home, and we both saw the same tug boat, a super-cute one, zipping around the harbor during the boat show. The new boat show (a fall event, just past). And we talked about it.

She asked, "Did you see that tug boat??"

"Yes, I did," I said. "But I didn't capture it."

My friend did. And she gave it me — the image, that is. It pumped us both up, as it captured something (maybe a few things) we appreciated ...

Photo (right there ^^) by Kelly Clemens. Thanks, Kel.