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Turtles, Ducks, and Trucks by Asad Chishti

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  • "So I was back in my hometown, talking to someone from my brain trust."
    "Brain trust?"
    "Personal group of advisors."
    "Right. What did they say?"
    "They told me that it seemed I was all over the map and mostly because I was displaying avoidant behaviour."
    "Doing stuff simply because it enabled me to avoid other things."
    "Hmm, they were able to articulate something that I'd been feeling but unable to vocalize."
    "So I'm not sure about what comes next."
    "What is your proudest accomplishment?"
    "I'm not sure."
    "Exactly. You need to get your thoughts out of the way, play the game, and embrace your destiny."

    When you're teleported through public parks, after waking up with unexplained aches and feeling like you need a break and better brakes, and wondering if all this fatigue is some sort of a fake, and not wanting to be a flake, you shouldn't necessarily be surprised that your former basketball coach is unimpressed. So are the turtles and they will run away as you broach their peace.

    "Sometimes I scare.", she told me. Whenever I'm working late into the night I run into the Portuguese cleaning staff and the regular person who cleans my workspace has been feeling sick lately. "The doctor told me that I'm missing ... I'm not sure what you call it in English but I've been taking some pills and they increase the pressure in my head. I worry sometimes. My mother died of cancer. One month after she turned 51 and one week after she went back to Portugal. That was her home and she wanted to go. So I wonder if any day the doctor will tell me, or my brother, or my sister that we have cancer. I know that I'm going to die and you never know how much time you have but I still worry. And my mother died so young and I miss her so much sometimes. I'm glad I have Maria though, she makes me strong with her smile and her jokes. I wish you were Portuguese so I could tell you some of the jokes she tells me when I visit her in the home. I'm not sure somedays why I work so hard because we all know that we're going to die, that is the guarantee we have in life. And our time is ... I'm not sure what the word is in English."
    "Appointed? Fixed?"

    Some days you hear news involving trucks and good stories ending a little earlier than expected because the spacesuit had a leak or was crushed and you can only hope to find solace in your work and maybe some strength to console. But it is all part of the script and you knew that but the problem is you always think you have time.
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