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So I’m out for a doctor prescribed walk – down by Shilshole Bay marina on Puget Sound.

As I often do in places like this, I close my eyes and just listen, to see with my ears, and find the waves gently lapping at the hulls of hundreds of sailboats.

There’s a train, with eight locomotives idling on the tracks across the street.

Two seagulls are fighting over a little piece of something or other…

A couple of Canada geese fly by, encouraging each other along with their honks. In the background to the west are the sea lions, occasionally barking…

The lines of the sailboats creak just slightly as they hold the masts straight, and I open my eyes to see that the weathervanes are all in formation, sniffing at the breeze.

Into this nautical environment walk two characters straight out of central casting for Moby Dick. The one on the left has this mop of a beard that’s just asking to be wrung out.

The one on the right has this little cap that makes me think of the skipper on Gilligan’s Island…

The conversation they’re having with their hands draws me in, making me wonder what conversation they’re having with their voices, so I wait, wondering what kind of shipboard drama is being recounted, what story is being remembered, what adventure is being relived.

They get closer, and the story in my imagination are shattered by reality as the only words I actually hear from them are, “…well, have you tried Linux on that system?”

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Tom Roush

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