Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Story of The Guy Who I Replaced at Work and Who My Co-Workers Speak Derisively About

What did the ocean spume? It spumed a man wet in sorrow. His boat had sunk on a rocky shoal. The lonely beach he swam to--so far away in rough water he barely made it--was his refuge. With his weary knees he knelt on the grains of sand that blistered under the tropical sun. His lips were dried and burned from the salt. He didn't know where he was or what island he had found. Nor did he know whether it was habitable with human life or if he could be rescued.

Before his adventure the man had taken an old saying to heart: 'He who travels alone travels farthest.' The one person boat had taken him far from his government job. It took him far from his northern city to tropical islands where he was to find himself through an oceanic experiment in life. A Thoreau he wanted to be of the South Sea. But he never believed he'd be here: alone, empty-bellied, tired, sorrowful, scared, regretful for leaving the safety of where he was.

The man crawled to a rock under the shade of palm tree and sat on it. He looked up to the sun and then put his head into his hands and wept dry tears. Maybe I wasn't dying inside back home, he thought. Maybe being the nameless, faceless, heart dead bureaucrat was good because it was safe, He thought some more. Maybe life is bad no matter what you do, he concluded in existential dismay.

The castaway heard a rumbling sound and lifted his head.

"Sugar, Sugar," he exclaimed, for he could not swear. "Sugar, Sugar, Mother of God. I'm going to die!"

He looked into the face of a komodo dragon with its long slithering tongue standing a few yards from him. The dragon took measure of the man and moved closer in plodding steps until he stopped a foot a way. With his tongue he licked the castaway's face as if he were a happy puppy dog. He then nodded and moved sideways. The man rode the back of the komodo dragon and now believed some decisions are worth taking, the consequences be damned.

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