top of page

George Ferryman - 5

This is part 5 of a series. Other parts can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4


Tuesday, October 31 (continued)


George tossed his bags on the sofa in the living room of his 2nd-story suite and walked to the sliding glass door. The pane of glass slid easily in its track, allowing in a soft island breeze. Coconut trees dotted the space between his terrace and the Caribbean; his view of the turquoise water was breathtaking. Some exotic smell wafted through the room.


The balcony held two chairs, a small round table, and two lounge chairs with white cushions. On the table was an ice bucket with a bottle of champagne and two fluted glasses. “Congratulations Newlyweds!” said a note card in beautiful calligraphy. “How ironic,” thought George to himself, “It looks as though I’ve booked myself into the Honeymoon Suite.”


He pulled the screen door shut, allowing the smell and the breeze to fill the room, and explored the massive bedroom. Red rose petals were scattered across the white duvet on the king sized bed. “Looks like someone’s been murdered,” he said aloud. And with that, he stripped down and stepped into the shower.

_________________________

Friday, November 3


“I’ll have a Long Island Iced Tea.” Marilyn said for the second time that night.


Marilyn’s drink of choice was no accident. One of the most alcoholic mixed drinks, it only took one L.I. Iced Tea to “set her to gigglin’” as they say, which saved her precious cash for more important things, like her hotel. She was getting very creative in stretching her meager savings. The buffets worked like a charm — in fact, judging by the fit of her clothes, her limited free meals had the added bonus of whittling away some extra pounds she’d accumulated over the years, which made her Iced Teas even more effective. “It’s a win-win-win-win,” she said aloud, slurring her words.


“What did you say?” Herman asked.


Marilyn’s second strategy for saving money was to have someone else pay for her drinks.


“Winwin,” she replied, “The name of the poodle I met today at the beach. I told you about him, didn’t I?” Of course there had been no poodle, but Herman was sweet and Marilyn didn’t want him to think she was crazy. “Let’s dance,” she said suddenly, jumping up and pulling her foil to the dance floor.


Something about the sea and the sand and that incredible sweet-smelling air dissolved Marilyn’s inhibitions. Maybe the evening Iced Teas contributed as well, but she noticed that even during the day she felt… different. Freer. Less burdened. Even though she had no home, no income, and no direction, Marilyn felt less troubled than she had in years.


She led Herman to the floor and kicked off her heels. Bright red toenails complimented the deepening tan on her feet and legs. She hiked up her long skirt in one hand and released the clip in her hair with the other. Once on the dance floor, Marilyn let loose, swaying to the music of the Caribbean. She closed her eyes, feeling her body move in space and time, and let the freedom wash over her soul.

___________________________


Herman stared at Marilyn, mesmerized by her movements, tickled by her total abandon. He’d been eyeing her for over a week, trying to get up the courage to approach. The first time he saw her she was wearing a mu-mu style dress over what, he assumed, was a bathing suit. She seemed self-conscious, pulling at her dress to cover her legs, keeping her hair confined under a wide-brimmed hat, eyes hidden behind dark glasses. She made several trips to the buffet, plate piled high with conch salad and fritters one time, conch pizza and grilled shrimp the next. He had never seen anyone eat so much at one time.


The next time he saw her was at the beach. She was reclining in a lounge chair with a towel covering most of her body, shielding it from the unrelenting sun. Her hat was askew so it only covered part of her face. He noted that the exposed part would result in an odd tan line over her right cheek. He wanted desperately to right the hat. He wanted to find out her name. She attracted him like a magnet. Slowly, casually, he walked nearer, reaching for the right words to use. “Um,” he began. Then he noticed the cascade of drool escaping the corner of her mouth. She was fast asleep.

________________


A well-worn copy of The Tao of Pooh shared the terrace table with an iced tea and a side plate of lemons. Fair Irish skin forced George to spend his days on the shaded balcony, only venturing out as the sun slid closer to the horizon. “A modern-day Vampire,” he muttered under his breath. Not that he minded. He’d rather avoid the obnoxious children who congregated poolside during the day, splashing each other (and all the guests within radius) and laughing too loudly. If George never heard the name “Marco Polo” again, it would be too soon.


At around 4:00 each afternoon, long after the sun hit its zenith, he ventured into the common area between the resort buildings. A fully-stocked bar with a thatched roof occupied the middle of the courtyard, surrounded by high-top tables and stools. An open-air BBQ pit was tasked with roasting the unfortunate pig, and on Friday and Saturday nights, a steel drum band played at the edge of the dance floor.


The area was beautifully appointed and the liquor was top-shelf, but too many times a staff person had approached him, “Mr. Ferryman, how are you enjoying your suite? Where is the Missus, by the way, I haven’t met her yet.” Despite its appeal, George opted to travel further down the beach for his nightcap. Being anonymous suited him just fine.

____________________


Jane was miffed. An entire month elapsed since George was served the papers, and she still hadn’t heard anything. Not to mention the fact that he'd forgotten her birthday. Had she been a better mother, she’d have been worried.


George was conceived on a Tuesday between 6:00pm and 9:00pm when Jane was barely 20 years old. The “sperm donor” – Jane’s affectionate name for George’s biological father – was an Irish art history major who had just completed a year of study abroad in Italy and Greece. His transformation while abroad was nothing short of miraculous – broader shoulders, more chiseled features, longer hair, and a melodic tilt to his fluent Italien. The minute he arrived back on campus, Jane set out to destroy the reputations of the girls she thought of as her competition. Success meant that on Tuesdays, while her roommate was busy learning about Romantic Literature in a classroom, the “sperm donor” was spending three glorious hours in Jane’s extra-long twin bed.


Unfortunately, by the time Jane discovered she was pregnant, “sperm donor” had accepted a job in Italy and left the country. One, teary, long-distance phone call confirmed what Jane already knew: She was on her own.


[See part 6 here.]





2 Comments


Unknown member
May 22, 2023

I'm dying to know why Momsie served George...how long must we wait? Did I miss it?? Where did the 25K come from? Inquiring minds need to know...😁

Like
emchaley
May 23, 2023
Replying to

All in good time, my friend, all in good time! ;) xo

Like
bottom of page