Keywords composure opalescent luminescent
He walked along the beach near the line of palm trees, just above the reach of the surf. The sun had set some time ago; now the opalescent moon and the brilliant stars ruled the sky. His water flask kept thumping against his thigh as he walked but he hardly noticed. He was lost in thought, remembering his panic of the previous night. Now, twenty-four hours later, he had regained his composure and things were somewhat more in focus. The long, drawn-out shushhhh of the waves on the sand was soothing, helping him to settle down and consider his situation.
Was it only yesterday? His catamaran had been almost flying, it seemed, as he raced along at sunset, skipping along the tops of the luminescent waves, wind blowing through his hair. He had been warned of coral reefs near the island, but he thought his shallow-draft boat should have no problem clearing them. He cleared all but one, but it tore the bottom out of Seafarer. Her older design didn’t include built-in flotation cells, so there was no hope of remaining afloat after the impact. He grabbed the water flask and paddled away in the little dinghy, barely getting clear as the mast came down. As he crashed ashore on the rocks his dinghy breathed its last, too.
He couldn’t help thinking about that “Cast Away” movie, but he didn’t have all that helpful detritus from the crash of a cargo plane. He took stock: he had all his limbs, no major injuries, swim trunks, flip-flops and a water container. No worries, mate.
Like the fellow in the movie, no one knew where to look for him, but unlike that guy, he had no one to mark his absence. He was between jobs, had no family left, he was just the forgotten man. It was going to be difficult to find the silver lining this time. His friend Jackie had always said, “No great loss without some small gain.” Hmmm, I wonder just what that small gain would be.
His stomach began to growl, reminding him again that he’d had nothing to eat all day. Boy, wouldn’t a steak hit the spot, or, not to be greedy, even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He had found a few cocoanuts in the trees but had no way to crack them. Maybe tomorrow he could find some crabs in one of the tide pools, or maybe he could snare a seagull. Hunger was a great motivator.
By now, the adventure aspect of this had worn off. He had tried to be self-reliant, do the macho thing, but somehow it just wasn’t working for him. He pulled his cell phone out of his hip pocket and called the front desk at the Hyatt and asked that they send over a water taxi to pick him up.
Oh yeah, steak dinner, baby!