I buried Jason at sea today.
I had a hard time getting him into the rowboat all by myself, but Daddy always said, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” And I knew if Jason had a will, his wish would have to been cremated (and I was with him on being a little creeped out at the thought of fish eating my eyeballs – dead or not). So I did things a little different with him and used two bottles of vodka to set the boat on fire before I cut the rope and dropped him into the ocean.
And it burned more than that when it even burned my throat when I tossed back the little bit that was leftover, while I watched him float away.
But I didn’t mind either fire and it’s not like I’ll be needing the little boat again.
Not after what happened the last time.
Jesus himself will have to come down and throw me overboard if he wants me off this boat now.
But I wore my nicest dress and made sure he was dressed in his best clothes, with his hair combed and his face clean shaven.
Momma and Daddy would want to see him at his best, since it’s been so long since they’ve laid eyes on him.
I hope they don’t hate me too much.
Who am I kidding?
Of course they hate me.
I got their son killed.
I hate me too.
Sully shit on me today.
I guess he hates me too.
We’re in the same boat, literally and figuratively.
I don’t think I can do this alone. I kind of gave up on…everything. I’m almost out of food. Nearly out of fresh water.
But more than anything I’m nearly out of my mind.
I never realized how much I needed my family to keep me sane. As much as Jason could get on my nerves until I wanted to push him overboard, I would give anything to hear him tease me now.
I miss him.
I miss all of them.
I felt like I should say it to someone, even if that someone is only my journal.
Sully didn’t seem to care what today is.
We’re still sharing that same boat.
I don’t know if I did it on purpose or not, but I couldn’t bring myself to open the book Jason had died getting for me until today. And wouldn’t you know it?
I don’t understand a lick of it.
It’s not written in a foreign language, although the language it’s written in is just as foreign to me.
It’s just a bunch of weird looking math equations, the best I can tell.
If I had a dictionary, I could be sure that would be the definition of irony.
But I’m keeping it to remind me of what my stupidity cost me.
The blood stained pages will make sure I don’t forget.
I won’t say it’s getting easier, but I think I’m becoming more numb, if that makes any sense. I thought about having a go at the liquor bottles in the bar, but even with it just being me, I can’t bring myself to be so wasteful when I know how it could come in handy.
To someone other than me, that is.
Not that I’ll be running into anyone. I haven’t dared to get anywhere close to land, so I haven’t even heard a voice other than my own in over six months.
No matter how much Sully likes to “talk”, I don’t count his since I can’t understand a word he says.
But I think if I don’t change something soon, I’ll go even crazier than I have been, so I set sail this morning for somewhere new, south of the equator. Even if the water is just as blue there as it is here, at least I’ll know in my head it’s different.
Even if it looks exactly the same.
So Jesus came to visit me the other day.
It’s why I’m off the boat now, with it grounded on the beach thanks to the hellacious storm I somehow managed to survive.
I’m pretty sure I’m on an island, but I won’t know without venturing off on my own. And while Sully made it with me, he’ll only come in handy if whoever we run into has food.
And even then he won’t share it with me.
So I think the seagull is going to have to wait for this chicken to get her nerve up before she goes exploring.
It’s not like he has anything better to do.
~ Chicken Little
I found a banana tree, not far from the beach.
This place is officially heaven.
I don’t think I’m alone in my banana paradise and I’m not talking about Sully.
~Reeking Banana-scented Fear
I closed the book and set it aside, staring out at the landscape from the relative safety of the deck and looked for signs of someone other than me. But there weren’t any.
Other than my gut instincts.
They hadn’t necessarily failed me before. They just sometimes kicked in much too late.
Like on the night Jason had been shot.
But now I had to wonder if I really was going stark raving mad. It wasn’t that far of a stretch considering how stir-crazy I’d gone when our Stackhouse family whittled down to just me.
But something told me I wasn’t alone.
I felt like I was being watched.
Why couldn’t Sully have been a German Sheppard instead?
He waddled over to me and nipped at my arm with his long pointy beak – because my gut also told me he was telepathic – so I pet his head and gave him what was left of my fish lunch, which he happily scarfed up in two seconds.
“I should have named you Garbage Disposal.”
He didn’t look put off in the least.
So I rolled my eyes at myself for having a seagull as a best friend and got to my feet. The best I could tell from the position of the sun in the sky, it was a little after noon, so I still had most of the day left to do whatever I needed to.
I’d noticed a few crabs along the shoreline earlier, so I decided to go down and catch a few for dinner later. I had a bucket to keep them in until then, but I would have to build a small fire on the beach if I was going to cook them.
Even now, after living almost eight year at sea, I still couldn’t bring myself to eat anything raw.
I’d never understood the draw of sushi before the world came to an end and that hadn’t changed.
My hair was nearly white blond now, thanks to practically living in the sun for all of those years, and it was long. Too long, but I hadn’t bothered to cut it yet.
I hadn’t bothered with much ever since Jason died.
But as much as I missed him, I decided my pity party had lasted for long enough, if even Jesus felt like he’d needed to give me a swift kick in the patootie by landing me here.
At least he’d been nice enough to make sure I would have bananas when I arrived.
When I grabbed the bucket for the crabs, I decided to fill it with my dirty clothes so I could take them with me. Banana Paradise came with a pool of fresh water about a quarter of a mile into the trees and while they could certainly use a good amount of soap, there wasn’t any, so my scrub brush and some good old fashioned elbow grease would have to do.
Sully only followed me as far as the trees before he took off to do his own thing, since he didn’t have to worry about doing any laundry. But even though I had nothing more than my banana-filled gut telling me it wasn’t just me and my seagull, I made sure to keep my knife out in front of me the whole way there.
Although it was more like a machete than a knife.
It came in handy for cutting down any of the thick vines and underbrush I ran into and before long I was at the pond. So I set my things down and took a good look around to make sure I was alone.
Even if that meant I was only crazy.
But not seeing or hearing anything that I shouldn’t, I relaxed a little and when I dipped my hands into the cool water, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Stripping off my clothes, I threw them in the bucket too and moved it closer to the water’s edge as I walked into it.
It was nearly crystal clear, so I could see my feet even when the water hit my neck and I swam around for a bit to get the ever present salt off of my skin.
It felt good.
When I’d had enough, I swam closer to the shore and went to work on cleaning my clothes. Even though it was just me, I stood there for a second trying to decide if I should put my clothes back on before getting to work.
I felt so exposed being naked.
Even if it was just me there.
But the trees didn’t seem to mind and my clothes really did need a good scrubbing, so I sloughed it off and got to work.
It was mind numbing, but it was something to do.
I was maybe halfway done, with my as-clean-as-they-would-get clothes spread out over low hanging tree branches to dry, and elbow deep in my bath/laundry/drinking water when I got that funny feeling again.
Like I was being watched.
I felt like I was in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
And I would literally shit myself if a big red monster named Gossamer came thundering out into the open.
But once I calmed down, I wouldn’t turn down a manicure, if he was offering.
Bent in half, with my hands in the water and my ass in the air, I stopped what I was doing and looked around.
Nothing seemed out of place, so I checked to see if it was my telepathic feathered German Sheppard I sensed, by whistling and called out, “Sully! Here boy!”
I was certain he was a dog in a previous life.
And he always came when he was called if he was within earshot, so when he didn’t show up a few seconds later, I went back to work, mumbling to myself, “It’s all in your head. It’s all in your head. It’s all in your out-of-your-cotton-pickin’ mind head.”
But when the shadow of what looked like another head appeared over the water a few feet in front of me, I froze.
At least I knew my eyes could still move because they darted to where I’d left my machete.
Lying on the rock about ten feet away.
I didn’t dare close my eyes, but I still prayed nonetheless, saying, “Please let it be a cloud. Please let it be a cloud. Please dear Lord, let it be a cloud.”
So when it didn’t float away, I had no choice but to look up.
He was big, but he wasn’t red.
He was blond, like me.
But that wasn’t why I doubted his name was Gossamer, nor was it the fact he wasn’t covered in any fur.
He wasn’t covered at all.
And – I realized – neither was I.
So when the shock wore off a split second later, I screamed my holy head off and lunged for my machete with one hand, while trying to cover my boobs with the other.
I’d never been accused of being graceful in my life and that certainly held true then too because my feet slipped on the slippery sand beneath my feet and I belly-flopped into the shallow water. Coughing it out of my lungs, I stood up as quickly as I could, with my boobs and my hair hanging everywhere. But I didn’t care anymore and by the time I reached the hilt of my knife and turned back around with it in my hand, he was gone.
And when I later searched the spot I would have sworn I saw him standing on, there wasn’t a footprint to be found in the sand, except for my own, it reminded me of the Footprints in the Sand story.
Was that you?