"Keep your head down," Andy says, but it's too late. The metal boom hits me square in the fucking head. 

That's gonna leave a mark. 

I run my fingers along the bump on my head before looking at them. There is black-red ink on my fingertips and the rage is bubbling up again.

That fucking boom. I swear if it hits me again, I'm gonna punch it in the fucking face.

"You alright? Who you talking too?"

"Nobody. I'll be fine, it's just a scratch," I lie, gritting my teeth and white-knuckling my hand into a fist. 

See, sailing isn't just about tying bowlines, figure-eights, and half-hitches. It isn't just knowing the wind or coiling ropes or learning how a diesel engine works.

It is knowing when to duck and get the fuck out of the way. 

"You think Americans get it Andy?"

"What do you mean?" he asked, puzzled. "That boom knock you senseless?"

"No, us, Americans, our society-- do you think we know when to start over and try something new?"

"Fuck no. Americans are entitled and they prioritize buying things over doing something that truly makes them happy."

Andy, my 65-year old, 5'9 cousin with a pony tail and decades of living abroad walks towards the bow with a can of deck paint in his hands. 

Do Americans consciously prioritize their lives?  If so, why are we so medicated, so depressed, so anxious, and so unhealthy? Why do we work for other people's dreams instead of our own?

I glance up. The metal boom is hanging above me innocently and the sun is reflecting brightly off lake Rio Dulce.

[Above word count: 272]