Print Story Grasping at straws
By sgt york (Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 07:54:39 AM EST) (all tags)
My wife and I recently celebrated our 10th anniversaty by staying at an inn on the island of St. John. Great place. If you ever get a chance to go, do it. Most of the island is a state park, so a good portion of it remains tropical paradise, even if it was clear cut for sugarcane 300 years ago. This was our first real solo (duo) vacation since our 3rd anniversary. Coincidentally, our eldest child is 6.

There are no correlations among those facts.

None whatsoever.


We spent most of our daylight hours roaming the trails and non-trails of the island, hiking up and down mountains (well, big hills. They called them mountains), scampering over beach cliffs and lying in crystal blue water to cool off. But that's another story. Well, a bunch of other stories. But I digress.

After one particularly long day of hiking and snorkeling, we decided we needed a substantial dinner. Beer, onion rings, cheeseburgers. We hit a locals type place called Woody's and fun was had by all.

I met a man there that was simply “Cap'n”. No “T”. Don't you dare pronounce the T. Or mention his dinghy. He will accuse you of stealing it. Again, another story.

The Cap'n had lived on St. John for nearly two decades before he met his wife. After several years of wedded bliss in a tropical paradise, they moved to New Jersey. I guess everyone needs a change in scenery every now and then. While there, they had a daughter, I never learned her name.

The Cap'n still had business in the Carribean, something to do with alcohol exports. Our impromptu group had spent a good bit of the evening importing alcohol, so some of the details became a bit unclear. My attention was not unwavering, nor was his speech. Regardless, his work brought him back to St John for a bit. A few affairs to take care of, then back to his wife and young daughter. Unfortunately for the Cap'n, he was mugged soon after his arrival on the island. All of his money and idnetification were stolen just as he stepped off the ferry from St Thomas.

“And you know, ever since 9-11, it's damn near impossible to do anything without ID, right?” I agreed. It certainly was. It must be a big hassle for him to get back.

”Can't get a plane ticket, can't get a place to stay, can't get a job, can't-” Here, my attention wavered. Can't get a job? Did he just say bank account? What the hell is this guy going on about?

I soon discovered that this mugging had taken place sometime in the summer of 2006. He had been on the island ever since. He lived on a sailboat with no mast. He roamed the beaches and collected stones and shells which he painted for sale at a local craft shop. He fished and sold the meat to local chefs and markets. A regular Hemingway character. Of course, he's trying to get back, it's just so difficult. I mean, what's a man to do? They won't let you on a plane without ID, and his was stolen. Poor sap, he may never see his wife and child again.

I really do feel sorry for the guy. Seems like he doesn't even know what paradise really is, he just keeps running back to what he knows.

< oh woe | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Grasping at straws | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Was his name B Traven? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 08:34:17 AM EST

There's a parable there, by blixco (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 09:28:13 AM EST
but until then: nice story!
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
Ten years, huh? by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 03:15:47 PM EST

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had it when I came in here.
Sorry by sgt york (2.00 / 0) #4 Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 09:44:01 AM EST
I'm not sure how to speed up time.

Not sure I'd want to, either....

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks

[ Parent ]
Touche. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #5 Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 02:50:09 PM EST
Indeed, make every moment last for weeks, if you can. The good ones, anyway.

I'm just grumpy because of all the "Hey, Pops, what was life back before the web?" questions I've been getting lately.

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had it when I came in here.

[ Parent ]
A: by Horatio Hellpop (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 12:11:00 AM EST
"Life was peachy. We'd play in the woods and behind every third tree was a leprechaun riding a unicorn and the unicorn was pulling a wagon loaded with FREE GUMMINT CHEESE."

"You can't really know something until you ruin it for everyone." -some guy who used to have an account here

[ Parent ]
Hey, don't mock gummint cheese. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:00:32 AM EST
We actually got a couple of blocks of that, back in the day. Wasn't bad.

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had it when I came in here.
[ Parent ]
It's nice to have by debacle (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 08:27:09 AM EST
When you really need it.


[ Parent ]
Yup. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 08:44:18 AM EST
Although I should point out that I now have an instinctive revulsion of lebanon-baloney-and-cheese sandwiches. They were good for the first couple of months, but after 2-3 years of them I was kind of desperate for a change.

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had it when I came in here.
[ Parent ]
Grasping at straws | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback