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' >|