Words seem like so many of the tools I've left behind on Jargo. Once they fit in the crook of my hand and could be manipulated with the dexterity of a surgeon. Digging them out of the tool bag now they are rusty and no longer move deftly with my will. The smell of mildew is strong. Rot. I can't shake the feeling that Jargo is showing the outward appearance of my soul like that cursed painting of Dorian Grey.
So many things have passed since the last time I was alone on this floating dream maker. So many years and miles have come and gone. Lives that where there before have extinguished. Relationships that didn't exist, then did, and no longer do. I had a passion once to be where I am now. Tied up in this river amongst a web of lines and boats I can't seem to rekindle that desire. There are countries and people I haven't yet visited, yet I can't seem to do the work necessary to get there. Rum takes too much time in the place of experience.
Flying into Guatemala everything felt wrong. Not a sense of foreboding, but simply that it had all occurred too quickly. My body had moved, but not my mind and spirit. A jet moved me physically, but I couldn't seem to catch up to the moment. A few hours sleep in Guate City and the rooftop was a comfort. Pastel colors and a McDonald's sign advertising an auto-mac were my view. I was in it again, but not like I was before. Somehow the luster of adventure was no longer present. I've done this all before. An early morning and a seven hour bus ride consoled me. It gave me a chance to settle into my new environs. My head began to catch up to my body. I was back in Central America. This time, alone, again.
Knocking off rust and mildew Jargo's engine runs. the boats tied next to me are too close to launch the dingy. It takes time, but I must get free of this mangrove jungle. Eventually the inflatable floats and the outboard engine runs on year old gasoline. Barefoot with water below me and wind in my hair I just drive up the river. No destination just reveling in an old and nearly forgotten joy. Jargito steers to town for groceries and a recommended watering hole. Surrounded by Caribbean cruisers I realize I am an ass. I can't help but tire of the war stories of those who go in small circles. I miss the days of little known islands in far off seas where the sailors had and could do it all. Too much one-upmanship here for my taste.
A Frenchman my age comes in looking for a lift to his boat. A short talk and I am happy to oblige just before sunset. He is planning a solo circumnavigation. I've a tinge of envy, but not of his voyage. I envy the confidence that comes with knowing exactly what you want and that you will make it happen. Certainty in the face of great odds. Daring when nothing says you should have any. Having completed my circle I fear the uncertainty of no longer having that objective. I didn't know then that the challenge was so important. I offer assistance, but he doesn't need it. Like all who chose this particular challenge they do it without help of those who went before. To do so takes away from the adventure and uncertainty of the odyssey. We may accomplish the same goal, but the experience is unique to us all.