"So you're turning 21 tomorrow?" I asked. The kid had high color in his cheeks and a scar on his arm. He threw the rope with the strength of the young.
"Yeah," he said. He was from up East staying in his folks' Florida condo for the summer, mating on the parasail boat.
"So that makes me exactly twice your age," I said, toeing the dock. "I feel old." Sometimes I fool cashiers if I have my hat on, but only until they look into my eyes and see the years and the learning and the lines.
"But in twenty minutes, he'll be where you are," said the other mate, the older mate who hailed from Kansas City, too. We'd parasailed with him twice before. I liked him. He felt like home, even in the boat.
I glanced at him, confused.
"Remember, twenty minutes ago, when you were 21?"
And I did.
I glanced at my 12-year-old daughter.
Twenty minutes ago.
"In twenty minutes, he'll be your age," the mate from KC said. "Twenty years goes by in a flash."
I wrapped that up and put it aside in my head, because it was so true. Battened down the hatches for twenty minutes more.