Chapter Ten – The Boats

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“Well, hello Joseph,” Admiral interrupts my eavesdropping. “I am surprised to see you here again this afternoon after the troubles at home last night.”

“What troubles,” I respond?

“Didn’t you miss your daughter’s play last night?”

How does he know that? I wonder if he ran into Leigh this morning. I mean I’m pretty certain that I didn’t say anything to him before I left. Did I?

“Yes Admiral, I did miss her play last night. It was just so busy at work and by the time I got out of the office, I was already too late. But, I smoothed things over and all was forgiven this morning.”

Admiral replied, “Joseph, I spoke with Leigh this morning and from her disposition I question that she feels that everything is smoothed over as you say. She was quite displeased and she seemed rather hurt.”

That explains it. I can’t believe that Leigh is talking to Admiral about my tardiness. Between the banker telling everyone in town about my business and my wife telling Admiral about my problems at home, I can’t seem to get a breath. This island is so small. Where can I hide and find myself?

“Joseph, remember our discussion we started last night about the three boats?”

“Yes, the one I didn’t understand.”

He leaves me spinning because he always talks to me by my full name. There is that feeling again, red lights, been here. His peaceful confidence is drawing me towards confusion. What is he getting at?

“Joseph, the three boats are a representation of how you are managing your life. You are managing your personal life from one boat which is represented by your times of solitude here at this bar. You are managing your business life from a second boat and you are managing your family life from a third boat. The problem is you can’t captain three boats. From my perspective, I sense that you are in the process of sinking all three.”

“Admiral, I respect your opinion, I really do. But I still have no idea how to draw from your analogy what you would do if you were in similar circumstances. I mean my business is on the ropes. I don’t have anyone to share my issue. My friends are consumed with their own problems and I fear sharing with my wife because I don’t want to disappoint her. I come here to try and clear my head, but I will admit I usually leave without answers. Besides, how can you relate to my problems, your business is perfect?”

“Joseph, your business issue that you describe is not the problem, but rather a symptom. Look to the main boat, focus on its leading, and follow its course. And as to your question about relating to your problems, how long have we known each other? Do you not think that I know you well enough to have a fair perspective of your situation? Have I not been here every time that you have come to me? Have I not provided you insight into numerous scenarios? Remember the time that you came back from Miami without a job, without Leigh, without much hope? Remember my advice to you?”

“I believe your advice was the same then as it is now. Admiral, the issue is that I didn’t understand it then and I still don’t.”

“Oh Joseph, I can’t wait for the day when you get this lesson. Look around you, your friends are here. Look to your house, your family is waiting for you. Look to me, time and again, I have offered to help you with these things and you have rejected my assistance. Why?”

“Admiral, I appreciate your offer. I know that you are willing to help; my thing is I don’t know for what help to ask. I can’t explain to you how you can assist me when I can’t even figure out for myself what is wrong. Besides, you are very busy yourself and you know that I don’t really want a partner.”


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