Life is full of turning points and unexpected changes. Perhaps they’re foreseeable, like waves on the ocean - rhythmic, graceful, even sometimes harmonious, at times somewhat large but manageable - with a certain expected predictability and comfort to them. But then there’s a change, at one moment you could be in a boat that you didn’t want but ended up being perfect - eventually you’d get a new boat and the family would move in, but that old boat was cozy, even if it was a little cramped and sometimes the bathroom didn’t work right and you’d have to wait a long time to get a drink, and it was a little leaky or whatever, but then the memories that you made on it seem crystal clear and as bright now as they did when they happened - the warm, balmy air so thick in your mind that you can feel it on your skin just by thinking about it.
Then the waves keep coming, they always do, they never stop - no matter how perceptible. Perhaps you needed a bigger boat and it’s fine. Luckily, the family is still together and the bonds of those ties grow and it seems like they’ll last for generations and 100 kids named Jose Arcadio or Aureliano will be stars of a drama that will unfold well past their and your lifetimes. A new wave comes and it’s bigger and stronger than ever, almost like it’s too big for the ocean itself, but that’s impossible and the boat is sturdy enough and the crew comes together and even if the doldrums are treacherous, it’s the greatest adventure in the history of major adventure even if someone in an armchair watching momentarily from afar decides not to see it that way.
Then the boat stops and Jose Arcadio and Aureliano check out and they’re just gone. The boat is still there and it’s big and shinny and the new voyage is off - but our real dad is gone and our stepdad just has his stupid office with his dumb Babe Ruth baseball sitting there and he breaks our face when we try to play baseball with him because he’s overly competitive but that was considered good parenting back then and all anyone wants is to make contraptions with an erector set. While you’d go to any length to see your real dad he’s gone... off killing his idols, but you’d be at your boat and if your stepdad came by maybe you’d give him five minutes even if it’d give you fake internet points and what passes for fame or recognition since that amount of dopamine isn’t as good as the other kind with your real dad... at the same time, it’s amazing that he’s our stepdad.
Still, the waves on the boat have been... more erratic now with almost immobile, glacial flat water at times but an iceberg slashing at the hull still, and then sometimes it seems totally perfect, the ideal of what Jose Arcadio and Aureliano made and would keep making forever, but then it seems like you’re going to turn into a tree or shrub or something, but somehow those moments are so opposed to the iceberg moments that all anyone wants is to eat ice cream and ride on real dad’s shoulders, but instead Segundo Aureliano is screaming at stepdad because he’s tired of how mediocre it’s going with the meeting with the accountant. It’s not bad, stepdad is fine now, it’s amazing that he’s our stepdad... This boat is pretty much the same, but the waves don’t make sense and instead of ice cream it’s fro-yo and the satisfied grin on dad’s face has been replaced by something that stepdad gazes upon far off, beyond your grasp - and maybe beyond his.