Sunday, June 6, 2010


This is the final of my 3-part story, 
when I played "hermit". 
There are other parts, 
like when I had gun-toting visitors 
in the darkness before midnight.
Maybe I'll shrink that one to a Friday "55"


--aren'tcha glad about that?:

I had arranged for Martin, by giving him two quarts of Bacardi RUM--see, I even did my bartering with booze!--the pilot of the Marco Island Mosquito Control plane, to fly over my island once a day, which kept away those dreaded mosquitos.  Each day, about 8 AM, the old Air Force C-47  flew over, and Martin sprayed my island with that wonderful stuff (poison?) over everything.  I even opened my mouth to maybe catch some of it.  (A few months after, that Cuban pilot died in a fiery crash,  piloting that same aircraft.)  The Mackle Brothers, developers of Marco Island, paid lots of fuel-bucks, for my comfort.

Meanwhile, I was sane enough to realize that my supply of beer, whiskey, and cigarettes was getting dangerously low.  With inventory about to expire, and no pharmacy to rob, I hobbled about Freedom Island (my name for it), pondering what to do, or how to die.

The previous paragraph sets up this next bit, the SADDEST DAY OF MY WHOLE LIFE.  I can weep even now, remembering.  Two friends, both pilots, flew their planes down to entertain me with their aerobatics  about three days before I was to vacate the island.  I had run out of ALL alcohol (and cigarettes!), was still walking in pain, and figured they would magically, automatically  'know'  my sorry-assed predicament.

Don't forget, Peeps--we did not have 
cell phones or iPODS in 1966!

The two planes flew SO low, that I could see my wife and baby daughter in one of them--so It was a certainty that my lack of supplies would be alleviated, since Nancy and I always had a 'working telepathy'.  I stood in one spot, waiting for the drop of my C.A.R.E. package...and fifteen minutes later, I thought they were playing that 'waiting' game.  They flew away--out of my life--forever? Possibly just a few miles over the Gulf of Mexico they would reach a "turning point"?  (Come back, little Sheba!)

Peeps, they did not return--leaving me stranded with no vital supplies. I had not even considered WATER, and I was getting thirsty! Who knew?  p o o r  m e--and I mean that, even to this day, June 2010. 

Ha! I just this minute uncovered a deeply-buried, long-hidden, powerful resentment. And I'll take care of it NOW! ( Steve E. peels off another layer of the onion!...........)

SO began the Unhappiest day (up to that time) of my whole life--no booze, no smokes, and that equaled NO NOTHING.  I did not pray, for fear that I would curse God Himself for this calamity.  (They could have at least dropped some Bandages -grin-)  And yes, I became quite depressed for the remaining really cool nights, and sun-blistering days.  

My mantra: Woe Is Me!  Really!  I was ready to DO it, but was chicken-shit to end my life, because --get this--my FEET hurt too much! AM I living today, because God allowed me to 'cavort' barefoot back-and-forth--unknowingly--through an under-water oyster bar, and spend the next eight days with bloody, infected feet?  (He also allowed me to stay sober since March 18, 1974.)

Oh yes, the fishing guide did arrive as scheduled to pick me up.  We enjoyed an unnatural quiet ride back to civilization.

There is no place like home!

Steve E  (A Hermit--NOT!)

But, of course--sober am I today!
And grateful today, for having 
received a text message which
arrived RIGHT ON TIME!


Hap Joy Free said...

what a fantabulous story. I was gripped, mouth wide open, looking forward to the next chapter. I see a book in your future!

more Steve stories!

Brian Miller said...

all things work together for the the good...even cut feet...nothing is random...great tale steve...

Jingle said...

it is like pieces of a puzzle,
when everything is the right place, it forms a beautiful image...
Cool story!

steveroni said...

HAP JOY FREE: Lots of things happen in the midnight sun...but that night on the marge at Lake Le Barge, the strangest..(adapted from "Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service)

BRIAN: My problem is, I can only relate what I know happened--no imagination whatever...but thanks for your comments

JINGLE: Thanks for your kindest of words. You sure have a huge blog-family. I'm still learning to swim--grin!

It's Time to Live said...

Sometimes I think I could be a Hermit. But I would miss family.

Caroline said...

Now that was a story! Loved each part...especially the sea turtle laying the eggs (I mean, how cool is that!). And most importantly, you became sober. Woo Hoo!

Glynis said...

Steve, thanks for visiting my blog. Violin player...my son married a violin maker's daughter in sept. William Piper violins are supposed to have a good name.
Anyway, loved reading your story, you told it well.
Ach, sore feet there is nothing worse.

willow said...

It's all part of the tapestry of life.

Syd said...

Glad that you made it back. Staying on an island can be great but maybe not the way that you did it.