I am sorry that there are so many moons between each letter I write to you these days. There are lots of things I want to tell you about Tahiti. All the whales I have seen, the lovely people I have met, the grottos, the many myths about eels, traditional net fishing, Mato, etc. More letters will follow, I promise.
I am writing mainly to tell you that a humpback whale song that I recorded has been featured on HAOMA. If you want to hear the song that sang the world into existence, you can hear it there. HAOMA asked me how nature feeds my creativity and I said “Without nature I am nothing, or rather a lost something. I believe that my creativity comes from Creator and I am merely a conduit to bring it into existence. In order to stay connected to Creator, I find that it is important for me to stay wild. And the only way to stay wild in this world is to go deep into the wilderness where all the other wild things are.”
I regret to tell you that I have temporarily left the wild blue for the wild green. I am in Arkansas now…ever so briefly. I am only allowed 90 days in French Polynesia and I didn’t want to spend my whole time there working. And with the reconstruction of the Juniper, work is something I must do. My contract ends in November and I will return, ready to set sail again.
There are many ways to sail around the world. Some people save and save and save and once their cruising kitty is fat, they go and don’t look back. I made my decision to sail around the world with a kitty that was still a little hungry, and I am doing this thing the only way I know how… I sail a little, I work a little, I sail a little. I guess I am telling you this, because people always ask me how I do it or how they can do it, and really you just do it and figure it out as you go and remember, there is always more than one way to skin a cat.
I also just bought a global wifi device, so that in the future I can work from anywhere in the world, and not be tethered to areas based on internet speeds. A desperation for anything can leave you in desperate places.
Anyway, I am also taking another writing class. Besides writing about sailing or the mythological or the surreal, I also have a whole series of humorous Southern Gothic-style tales. Here is one that I wrote last week. It takes place nowhere near the water, but it does take place where I was born and raised, and in this way, it is a part of who I am, no matter where I am, and so I have decided to share it here.
* THE SHOTGUN WEDDING *
That July day was on the edge of dusk when Waylon Williams the third exchanged vows with Betty Lou inside of a wisteria covered pergola among the dew-drenched lawn of Waylon’s father’s father, who was nowhere to be found, and who Waylon refused to call grandpa. A thick scent of moonflowers and doom floated around them in the otherwise stagnant air. The sun, well past its zenith, tumbled below the horizon all redhot from the wildfires, as if a dragon blew it into existence, leaving a magenta haze which would have dusted the whole world, like a dream, into a monochromatic memory if it was not for the neon light of the glow worms and glittered regalia of the guests.
Everybody who was somebody was there, right down to the mayor and the whole scene was decadent except for Betty Lou herself, who has been gone to the dogs since the day she was born, rumor had it that she came from a family who raised pet tigers and that her daddy was a doctor who kept cadavers in their coat closet.
On this day, Betty Lou, was wearing pink from head to toe – dress, lace, shoes, lips, veil and her baby bump protruded out so far underneath it all that it nearly reached the next county over- which is called Toad Suck county- if you can believe it. Betty Lou looked more like a watermelon than a bride and she flatfooted her way down that lawn waddling more like a duck than a dame. Everybody knows a dame prances or rather floats above the earth on the end of her toes not the heels of her feet.
We all suspected that Betty Lou was some call girl that Waylon found in the back pages of a murky magazine as not one member of her family was present to bear witness to the disaster and Waylon, nearing 40, was under fervent pressure to carry on that family name in the way that all southern American WASP are, yet it was common knowledge that he preferred being with men who dressed like women and he really loved cocaine, a problem which nobody admitted was a problem and when asked Waylon would say, “I don’t do cocaine, I just really like the smell of it.”
A few years ago, Waylon broke into a mansion near the Texas-Arkansas border. It was after a debutant ball and he was 1,000 sheets to the wind, wearing a tuxedo decorated in vomit. He found two samurai swords in the mansion and slashed every single antique that family owned, using both swords at once and moving his arms like a pinwheel. Porcelain and crystal laid on their oriental rugs like rainbowed confetti. Then Waylon got buck naked, put on a purple silk robe he found in the master bathroom, pranced around, stole some boxed wine from their fridge, and piled into their silver Mercedes convertible. Off he went at speeds exceeding 100 mph. He got into a high-speed chase with the highway patrol which led him to throw the boxed wine out the window in an attempt to divert them, but the chase ended when Waylon wrecked the stolen Mercedes right into the “Welcome to Texas- DRIVE FRIENDLY – THE TEXAS WAY” sign.
Newspaper pictures of the scene prominently displayed Waylon all crosseyed in that purple silk robe and flashing his willy to the cops while they wrapped the cuffs around his lily-white wrists. We were more than certain that Waylon would sober up after such a disgrace, but then he started turning up around town with Betty Lou, and you’d have to be higher than the Himalayas to date a woman like that.
When the pastor said, “Do you take this man to be your husband?”
And Betty Lou said, “Hot damn, I sure as hell do, he’s my babies daddy.”
It was no shock that this was the exact moment that Waylon Williams the third’s mother fainted right there beneath the miniature gumball tree, that resembles an engorged penis, if you ask me. And is evidence of its phallic nature it dropped 15 green balls all over her body before the housekeepers could fan her awake. “Oh wee,” I heard one housekeeper say in a honeycoated voice on its way towards a hush, “this boy gonna done kill Mrs. Williams, with his wedding shenanigans.”
Not long after that we heard a thunderous sound ring into the atmosphere as if a hammer was smashing onto something metal right against each of our ears. At the time the pastor was in the middle of saying “I now pronounce you man and…” when a bird fell out of the sky like a plump feathered raindrop and landed on top of the pastors head, causing the pastor to say, “Good God” instead of “wife.” “I know pronounce man and good god….”
After that everything is so dizzying it takes me two whiskeys on the rocks just to make sense of it in my fumbling mind. I remember that Grandpa Williams came crawling across the lawn wearing all camouflage and moving the way a man in combat would, all slithering and snake-like, as if none of us could see him. He did this until he got right up next to the bride and groom then stood up and pointed the barrel of his sawed off shotgun straight at Betty Lou’s watermelon belly. Pow, pa-pow, pa-pow, pow. Grandpa Williams shot her just like he shot all them raccoons beneath those summer strawberry moons.
Then Grandpa Williams turned towards all the guests and proclaimed, “That baby sure ain’t gonna be no blood kin of mine.”