In the Faraway Places

by Brian Michael Barbeito

It was far away and I don't know how we arrived. There were people about that were involved in getting boats into the water or else playing sports games atop green hills. They told me I should go out in a boat with this guy and that he would take me around the island. I went in and off we went. I remember that he was very optimistic. We were both about fourteen. After we had spun around the island he cut the motor and we just sat there bobbing a bit in the sun.

“I have a band,” he said, “and I am going to be a rock star. Do you like music? And girls?”

“I like both.”

I don't remember much else of what was said. He was a good guy, or that was my impression. Years later there was a wildly popular band and I was watching their videos in an apartment just twenty minutes outside of Ft. Lauderdale. I felt like I knew the guy singing but couldn't place him and figured that it was some weird mind-trip. It wasn't until I saw him in an interview weeks later that I remembered him. I told everyone that I had been boating with that guy. I was met with suspicion. There are so many tall tales in the world that if you tell a true one you are still met with unbelievers. Its something like paying for the sins of the father, though admittedly to a much lesser extent. 

I figured I would not bump into him again, and if I did, that he would not remember me. What would it matter anyhow? But then I saw him, a real life rock star, in an elevator with his rock star girlfriend. He recognized me. We were in a hotel called The Marriot that looked out over the falls. He said that he remembered my visit to the island that long ago day. We went to his room. Everything was normal, and he did not act wildly or egotistically or trash the place. I guess that was not his style. We just talked and ordered coffee and looked outside at the view.

“You weren't kidding,” I said, “about being a rock star.”


I saw that there was an island on the top of the falls, about a couple hundred yards, if that, away from the actual falls. There were seagulls that lived on the island, and one, because of his uniqueness, reminded me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull from the famous book. He kept flying away from the others and entering the large vacancy over the falls. He would fly around there, and to other faraway places, and then come back again. The others seemed to just stay at or very close to the island. After talking about a few more minor things, I said farewell to the rock star, and though it did not seem like he needed it, I wished him good luck, because I did not know what else to say.