SAT JAN 19, 2019 // THE BOOK OF THE DEAD

BEQUIA, ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES

We started the day in Barbados at a little hotel by the sea full of overweight English tourists. Everyone was asleep. We walked to the pier in Oistins and saw the fish market cleaning up. We had breakfast at the Surfer’s Cafe and then walked back to the hotel in the hot sun. We left our belongings in the room and went to the beach to have a swim. We looked for green lizards along the way. After that we showered, took a cab to the airport, and flew a small plane to Bequia.

Peter and Sylvie met us at the airport. There were goats grazing on the side of the small, jungle covered mountain by the runway. Rain had recently fallen. We took a pick up truck taxi cab ride to the harbor where our boat for the week, the Jambalaya, was docked. Peter is a charismatic, salty English Man. Sylvie is a kind, hyper alert French lady. We took the dingy to the sailboat and got situated.

After that Peter returns Jessie, Lucy and I to shore so we can explore the town. There is a narrow pathway that traces a cliff around a crescent moon shape into town. Jessie and I buy a colorful repurposed coffee bag and some corporate cigarettes. Lucy gets a sun hat and a map. The men at the fruit stand give the hard sell and we vacate without buying a large avocado.

William swims to meet us at the dock and returns to the boat to summon Peter. Once back on the sailboat I go for a swim. Jessie joins me. I sense danger. It arrives. I’m a strange person tuned to a faraway station. I cannot finish my dinner. Darkness falls. I cannot sleep. I ask for help from beyond the grave. None seems to arrive. I read how to do so in a book some time ago, but maybe not carefully enough. The boat rocks back and forth. Moonlight and a faint breeze pour through the hatch into the small cabin.

I wonder how long it would take me to swim to shore and find my way back to a new life. It’s hard even for the locals to make a living, and I’ve rode the credit card too hard already. Everything’s been done before by someone else, and proving one can survive having made an impulsive decision is a stunt I’ve done since I was child with increasing degrees of severity. I left my passport and wallet in the cabin and climbed up the ladder onto the deck. The moonlight still glowed before dawn. I smoked a cigarette and waited for the sun to rise.

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