The Island Chapter 2
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The Island

“I have found peace, it exists upon the rolling glass of a steady sea.”

Chapter 2

After leaving the docks, I followed a single lane road down a small incline for about a quarter mile. It veered evermore to the right as it came to meet the main access street to the rest of the island. This street, rightly nicknamed “Front Street” by the locals, stretched from the dock to a small beach club a mile and a half away. Every block there were streets perpendicular to the Front Street that led back, deeper into the small town, and some even deeper still, into the larger wilderness of the island itself. My hotel was located on one of these streets, and was about two-thirds a mile from the dock and about two blocks from Front Street.

I labored with my single parcel of luggage to the Island Inn, stopping every now and then to take in the sights. Shops, restaurants, and tourists traps, were hyper-empty. The only bodies existing within them being the staff who didn’t want to be there anymore more than the people that already weren’t. My head full of wandering thoughts and substance, and the questions I would find myself asking the locals upon entering their world, started to take hold. I made a left turn down one of the attached streets and made my way a couple hundred feet down, until the street started to gradually incline. Before the incline could press too hard, the Inn’s doors appeared. It was an older building of mid-century affair, with notable modern additions. Relieved, I entered.

“Checking in!” I exasperated as I heaved my way through to the reception desk. The walk had taken more out of me than I had expected. The man behind the counter, peaked his head up from his computer.

“Last Name?”.

“Hickson” I replied, “Jonathan, Hickson”.

“Ahhh Mr. Hickson, ok, so let me see here, two nights, check out is at eleven AM. Call us if you wish to have late check out. From eight to ten we have a small complimentary breakfast here in the lobby. Since you're here in the off-season, we gave you a complimentary upgrade. You’ll be in room 404, which is a bit of a trek. You’ll go up these stairs in the front, take a right, then another right, up those stairs to floor three, then head all the way back to the end of the hall, take the stairs there up to floor four, then you’ll be on the fourth floor landing, which you’ll turn left and head up the two small flights of stairs, then you’ll be the third door on the right. My name is Greg if there is anything else I can help you with, let me know.”

My brain, in all its splendor and brilliance, was numb under its current influence and not understanding of a single direction this kind man just gave it, however agreed, “Oh yeah, thanks, I'm good.”

And find the room I did, but not without asking. I asked no less than two staff members, a handyman and a housekeeper, but ultimately I got there. Like anything labeled "404" it is usually hard to find. I opened the door to the room, and the smile that my face concocted was unmatched by any smile in the past few years. A wonderful walk in shower, a large king bed, enough for four of me! A patio balcony that looked straight to the east, to the harbor and the sea! In the faint distance, the blur of the land beyond could just be made out. I threw the bag of assorted garments I had strained up the flight of stairs on to the massive bed and went immediately to the patio door. Swinging it open I was awash with every sound the small town had to offer. The waves crashed, children screamed, women bantered, gulls squawked, dogs barked, cars hummed, and horns beeped. The sensation was so mesmerizingly perfect for my altered state that all I could do was laugh. If I had died in that very moment, you could have counted me lucky. Heaven was found in that small slice of time and space.

My nirvana, well adjusted, was brought back down to the plane of existence by a new occupant of the room. A large seagull had joined me in leaning against the wooden railing. This creature had all the hall-markings of ancillary domestication. Unafraid of my approaching into his personal space, we both settled on a comfortable distance of a few feet from one another. The bird watched me closely. Probably for needs of escape and the need of food. Unfortunately for him, I was the unknown third option, neither a threat, nor a bearer of sustenance, but an observer, molded by inquisition and intoxication. My absconded mind, wished to break the species gap between us and have a dialogue. I gave this gull the name “George”, as it seemed so wholly unfitting, that it only felt right. I asked George, how long he had been on the island, if he had friends or family, and how he came to be a beggar of this forth story vestibule. Each question met with un-mutable silence, the slight tilting of a beak, and a small ruffling of feathers.

After about five unsuccessful minutes to be the first to master interspecies communication, I returned inside to the bed and threw myself upon it. For the first time that day I was able to realize and revel in the relaxation that this trip was to afford me. In celebration I consumed yet another sliver of the mind bending paper shards that I had so easily smuggled onto the boat. I waited about 40 minutes, laying on the bed for my bender to take effect. When the first signs of the next peak appeared, I surmised that the the time was most opportune to walk the small streets in search of something to fill my spirit.

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