This story I posted on my other blog in June 2008Here is Part I of III
STEVE THE "HERMIT" I
STAR DATE 1966
The year 1966 is one which lives in my memory, mainly for the events here described. I had come to Florida two years before, to 'be a hermit'. For my vacation during the summer of '66, I determined to get a taste of the hermitage. So, for my two weeks in the sun and fun, I chose to get myself planted on a small spit of an island south of Marco Island--the objective, to 'play hermit' for a week or so...I think it was ten days.
I rented a tent, and all the equipment which could fit on a small boat, and hired a fellow to float me down to this 'sugar loaf' spit of sand in the Gulf of Mexico. And of course, it goes without saying that I loaded onto that little runabout several cases of beer, one case (12 quart bottles) of my favorite (the cheapest) vodka of the day and six quarts of Bourbon (to compensate for my bland vodka dietary choice). Ice, two dozen cans of tuna, one dozen boiled eggs, heck I don't know what else, it didn't matter. Ants got to the food before me, since I mostly drank the first couple days.
As soon as this man dropped me, and helped to unload my gear (don't break the glass!), he sped away, maybe glad to be rid of me--with the promise that in ten days he'd return. Well, at last alone, I was ecstatic!
This was HEAVEN! I ran around like a crazed child, alone on his private playground. Me, the hermit! My dream of thirty years had come true, at least in "trial" form. I cavorted (yes, cavorted) in the water, bare-footed, and bare-ass'd. I really thought maybe the water there was contaminated, because it had a certain foreboding red color, all around me was this red-tinted water. THEN it happened that reality set in. I had been running around like a crazy child with no shoes, on an old oyster bed, and the "red" was my own blood. Yep, my (by now!) VERY sore feet bottoms were shredded. Looking at my feet bottoms I was shocked to see all the cuts, some rather deep--and the blood, MY blood all in the water and on the beige sand. 44 years later, thoughts of this night's events make me cringe.
Now I became concerned...no doctor, no medicine, no First Aid kit...so first-things-first, I took a huge pull from a vodka bottle, and knew that I was going to soon be wasting some of the precious liquid on my FEET. If whoever reading this is an alcoholic, they will immediately know what absolute TRAUMA it was for me to pour vodka, AND Early Times (forgot to mention the Whiskey!) onto my feet. Oh! How then I cried. Not for the burning or painful feet, but OH! the wasted booze, Oh! Woe is me!
So, for the next days (daze!) I walked about wearing a tee shirt wrapped around each foot, using a driftwood cane for support. I did not know God at that time very well, I mean He and I were at odds, at least I was.
But, again, to that first night. On the radio--about dusk--it was announced that a Tropical Depression had formed over Everglades City, about 10 miles from where I sat, painfully nursing myself with the only anesthesia I knew, in the darkness of a warm, June night. Well, that storm came thundering full blast at my island, the water kept rising, I'd check it every half hour, and moved my tent several times that night, walking on two bloody stubs. I stayed very drunk, but could not avoid the dangerous situation which was before me. There was nowhere to go, no hills, and the water kept rising. In a drunken stupor I fell fast asleep.
You'd think my 'First-Night' story might end here. Wrong! Since this blog has become waaay out of length-bounds for a simple daily log reading, the "rest of this story" will be on tomorrow's posting, that's Wednesday night. It's much more interesting than today's, so don't miss it. I promise a good story!