At last, a few minutes to sit and write! What a freaking nightmare it has been. I guess I need to start at the beginning, just in case I don’t make it, so people know what happened.
I was on a flight from LAX to Seoul to join up with the rest of the cast. I’ll admit that I was excited to be starring in an action film based in Asia. I mean, when I was a kid, women were the victims in this type of film, and yet, here I was… Anyway, the flight didn’t go well.
OK, just a few flashes on what occurred on the flight.
We kept diverting south because of a major storm. And then the turbulence. I once experienced sever turbulence, the scariest half of an hour in my life.
This was worse.
Yeah. Nightmare. Maybe someday I’ll be able to say more. It is too soon.
I came to on a beach.
Every inch of my body hurt, yet, after checking myself, I only had a few minor injuries.
About an hour later I saw something floating towards shore. OK, I had seen a few other pieces of wreckage wash up, but this was larger and as it got closer, I realized that there was person on it.
Bob was injured, though was in amazingly good shape. A broken arm, a few lacerations. I got him comfortable in the shade and went to explore to see if I could find anything that could help.
I found a small villa.
It had obviously been abandoned for years, but I was in luck. There was a hand-pump, so I could get fresh water. I also found some clean linens. An hour later, Bob’s wounds were dressed, he had a splint on his arm and I helped him hobble his way to the villa.
So that was four days ago.
Since then I have explored. The island is small. It is mostly surrounded by reefs. Our pump is the only fresh water. There are abandoned gardens and fruit trees, so it is possible we can live here for extended times if not rescued right away. There were some dry goods, but most had rotted. A few things, though were still good enough to eat. Well, after I cooked them – have to be safe.
I will not even begin to talk about the pain of getting a fire going to cook things! I will not let it go out…
I used rocks and sticks to make large SOS signs in several locations.
An airliner went down near here. I figured there would soon be search and rescue.
Nothing so far.
Oh, yeah, I forgot the treasure – the villa has a small library! About 200 books, both classic and modern. In English! About a third of them are non-fiction books, including survival books! Not just survival, but all about the flora and fauna of this part of the world. I know, serendipity, but I guess that the occupant had meant to live off grid and undetected for a long time, so used these as reference. Some other science books. In the desk I discovered a few blank books, one of which I grabbed for this diary.
I need to go check on my “patient”. Bob is doing better, but his listlessness has been worrying.
I had planned on writing in this every day, but I just have no energy to write. I have been reading. Thank God for that library! I never was any good at journaling or kept a diary, even when I was a little girl. Maybe I will get a good entry in once a week.
The big news is that there is no news. Not a sign of an airplane in the sky or a ship on the horizon. Nothing. I couldn’t find a radio, or any electronics for that matter. Even if there was a radio, there is no electricity – I had hoped we would find a generator stashed away, but no luck.
On the plus, I did find a cistern besides our little well. Since it collects rain water, it is full. I’ll boil anything we use, but this is enough water for a year, even if it never rains again.
Yuck, a year!
Yeah, we switched from short term survival to long term planning. I was never in one of those silly shows based on a desert island, thank goodness, but, using those books and the resources at hand, I think I’m doing pretty good. We could live here a year or more without a problem, and it may even get easier as I work things out. The gardens aren’t in great shape, but have thrived even in the couple of days that I’ve tended them. There are plenty of gardening tools and even some seeds that aren’t rotten.
Yesterday I had a major discovery – two dozen bottles of wine! Bordeaux from the late 90s. They were amazingly cool, so perhaps most are still good. The one we opened last night was!
Yea, when I said “tools”, more than just gardening tools. Building tools. Medical supplies. As I said, this guy, or whatever, was planning on living long term off grid. Wonder what happened?
A pretty obvious one was all of the fishing gear. Tons of fishing gear, both surf fishing and deep water.
At least Bob likes to fish.
Yeah, I guess I should talk about Bob.
He’s about my age, never been married. (Bite your tongue. After all, have you been married?) He dropped out of school after his freshman year at Kansas State. He lives in Missouri in a suburb of St. Louis. After school he has “bummed around different odd jobs”. His words. Recently he became a manager of some sort at a big box hardware store. Never heard of it, so must be some regional Midwest thing.
He had been saving his money for ages and had planned on visiting Thailand. There was something about the way he said it that made me uncomfortable, like he was going for more than just cultural artifacts and beaches. Anyway, so he was on the way there via LA and Seoul.
He, of course, knew exactly who I was from day one. He gave me my space, but I often caught him watching me. And he sometimes says odd things. Brrr. Yeah, shivering from the cold on this tropical island!
Anyway, I have to go into more depth about our conversation last night. Creepy.
We were sitting around a fire drinking that delicious ‘95 Margaux. I had been pressing him pretty hard about his past, but relented and decided to reciprocate.
Lol. I used those words and he stared at me. “Recipro-what?” lol.
Anyway, I talked about the shy, introverted book nerd who went on to graduate with a degree in Chemistry. I was really thinking of getting my Masters when life and Hollywood happened. Lol. I know, sounds funny, doesn’t it?
“So how did you get involved with Star Shop?”
I think I turned red, though he might not have noticed across the fire.
If I could change one thing about my past, it would be Star Shop! I was a 21-year-old college senior when I filmed it, but played a 17-year-old who lost her virginity to an alien. A bit of nudity. More than a few boob shots. Yeah, my first movie, so no body double, that was all me. What an awful movie! And I did such an awful job in it. But I did get a call from Spielberg, who, luckily, saw past those tacky almost soft-core scenes and gave me a chance in a minor role in a more respectable movie, and well, the rest is history.
“Yeah, a friend of mine had a bit part and talked me into trying out. I was so surprised that I was chosen to play Tiff! I hated it, but, yeah, that’s what got me into the biz…”
“I loved that movie! I must have watched it 20 times! I bet I’ve seen every one of your movies since then!”
“Thanks,” I said. I was feeling more than a little uncomfortable. It was 15 years ago, but my guess is he still pictured me as that athletic college kid.
“No, really. I mean, you’re great.”
“Uhm.” I took a sip of the wine, trying to savor it, but I really wanted to gulp it.
Bob had no qualms and gulped his glass down and poured another.
“I mean, you’re beautiful, sexy, athletic, and, yeah, sexy.” I took another sip, a big one, not trying to savor it this time. “And, of course, super smart. And you do cool things, like ski and surf.”
“Well, I do ski, mostly cross-country, but I only learned to surf for The Big One and haven’t done it since…”
“Still, you travel, backpack, mountain climb, play squash, read and even put out a couple of books.”
“Uhm…” How much did this guy know about me? OK, squash was another movie thing, I prefer tennis in real life, but still…
“Yeah, you have always been my favorite actress.”
“Thanks.” I changed the topic to Thailand. Anything but me.
Truthfully, I am still that shy, introverted book nerd and hate attention, but there was something about Bob last night that more than creeped me out. I doubt if he would do anything, but still, it does make one wonder.
Of all of the people to be stuck on a desert island with!
OK, it could be worse. Don’t ask me how, but I know it could.
I have been working my butt off to make sure we can survive. I have repaired most of the villa and it is all almost new again. I have the gardens in order and we are already beginning to get some food from it. I gather shellfish and have used the survival books to find edible plants. There are quite a few on this island, even without the gardens. I tend the fires, since starting the first one was a pain, and I cook. I boil water. I swim for an hour a day and have set up an exercise area and work out for another hour. I read. I have been learning to draw again. I stay active all day.
He eats more and has opened four more bottles of wine.
He does not read. Or write. Or draw.
Except watch me.
I have talked him into helping, which he has, but only when asked. Often he needs to be asked repeatedly. And he usually reminds me of his broken arm. Over and over he reminds me, but usually as an excuse.
“I’m sorry, but, my arm, you know.”
There is nothing that you are doing that needs that arm! If you had a clue as to what you were doing.
For someone who is a manager in a hardware store, he sure knows very little about how those tools he sells actually work! My dad made sure I was competent with a hammer and saw. He thought I was pretty (thanks Dad1) and didn’t want me to rely on some guy who might take advantage of me. Ha! Yeah, a manual drill can be a little unwieldy if you aren’t used to it, but give me a break!
On day one Bob was a bit over weight and out of shape. Now, despite our limited diet, he is even more overweight and still out of shape.
I have tried to get him to exercise, but he uses his injuries as an excuse, just as he does with the work. Or sometimes it is just too hot. or too many bugs or too much… OK, sit there like a lump!
The healing is actually going well. In a few more weeks he won’t be able to use that as an excuse any more.
I missed the month mark. Great. After realizing it had been over a month, I did join Bob in his partaking of the juices of the grape.
More movie talk. This time I controlled which movies I wanted to discuss! Movies where I played strong characters. Smart characters. Movies where I kicked the guys’ butt.
Blob, I mean Bob, is healing well, but is still as inactive as a brick. I usually don’t ask for his help any more.
Enough about Bob. Actually, too much already.
In the last couple of weeks, I have continued to try to keep my mind and body sharp. I have set up even more challenges and made my workout routine even more stringent. And the swims – oh, the swims! I will miss the swims!
But not just body, there is the mind that needs to be exercised.
I’ve been devouring books.
And research. Research?
OK, I’ve been taking a few of the botany books out into the “field” and have been classifying about every plant on the island. I have used one of the blank books for my research and have cataloged almost everything. I’ll start working fauna next.
I almost forgot about this diary, what, with all of my other writing, but wanted to put a few marks into it tonight.
I continue to keep the villa up and improve it. The builder was smart in many ways, but I also see a few mistakes. My guess is that we will eventually find his or her body…
In some ways this is paradise, though I do want be rescued sooner than later.
Wow, a month without writing here! I have been writing, though, and love every second. I wish I could do it forever!
I continue my survey of the flora and fauna of the island and surrounding waters. I have read a couple of astronomy books and spend a half an hour every night looking at the stars. I can’t tell how bright and clear they are here with no light pollution! I can now name several dozens of them, as well as the constellations. Ha! I know, pseudoscience, but it does help with learning which stars are which. And since I don’t have a major observatory to help me… Yeah, maybe I’ll try to get a doctorate in astrophysics when I get off of this sandbar.
A sandbar that I have been stuck on for two months now.
Last night the other person and I drank a bottle of 1996 Château Margaux to “celebrate” the two months of survival.
After he griped about how awful it was with all of the heat, bugs, sun, salt water and such, and how much hard work he has had to do (really? I don’t remember one bit of it), he asked me if I had ever wanted to do a reality show and if I wished that I had now that I needed it.
“No, not one drop of desire. Not that I wasn’t asked early on in my career. I am ultra-glad I was never talked into doing one of those reality shows, or semi-reality shows based around surviving hardships like these! Actually, I never even thought about being stuck on a deserted island and having to survive by my wits.”
I took a sip of wine, trying to ignore his strange stare.
“Actually, I have,” he said. “Not really, but in a way.” His face went through a few contortions as he worked out what he wanted to say. “Watching those shows, I always knew I would be great at it, which I’ve proved here.” I suppressed a laugh. Really? He was only surviving because I was dragging him into the future screaming and kicking. “But it was more than that.”
An odd spark from the fire reflected in his eyes.
He leaned closer.
“Have you ever played that game about who you’d pick to be stuck with on a desert island?” He asked.
I shook my head.
“I have. Both as part of a drinking game, where we went around and explained our choices, and as a fantasy. Yeah,often as a fantasy.”
My discomfort grew. I knew what was coming next.
He took a huge slug from his wine glass. That once gulp was most likely worth more than a week’s salary at his stupid store.
“It was always you. Every time since I saw Star Shop. You.”
He moved closer to me, much closer. Touching.
“This was fated. My fantasy has come true. The stars lined up, and here it is, reality. I don’t know why you keep resisting. It was fated.”
He grabbed me and tried to kiss me.
I laid him out flat on his back.
“If you touch me again, I will re-break your arm, and maybe break the other one just to be sure it doesn’t happen again.”
I went in and locked the door. Yes, I fixed the lock, just in case.
That was last night.
I haven’t seen him this morning. I hope I don’t again, ever.
Bite your tongue! He is another human being! Wishing harm of another human is just… I can’t think of it!
And from a selfish point of view, I do need human companionship, don’t I?
Truthfully, it is almost a fantasy to be here with nothing to do but keep fit and study! Oh, those heavenly swims! And the stars! I never knew there were so many, but here, away from any artificial light….
And being alone.
Part of me wants to do it for the rest of my life….
The ship showed up on the horizon this morning. It grew, and then began to shrink again. My heart shrank with it.
But then it began to grow again!
It had turned back.
A small landing craft was on the beach two hours later. Two men and a woman jumped off.
We searched the island for Bob for over an hour and never saw any sign of him. He’d been missing since our ill-fated campfire and his confession about his fantasy.
I collected my notebooks and a few books that I liked, plus the three remaining bottles of wine. I took a last walk around, saying I was still looking for Bob, but really I wanted a last look.
I think I had done a pretty good job. It was home. Part of me didn’t want to leave.
But I did.
I have been playing catch up all day.
Most of the wreckage of our jet was recovered about 50 miles away. I was pronounced dead, the most well-known name of the victims. The little bit of an island was far enough from the main sea-lanes that few boats came close. This one just chanced by. Someone looking at the island with binoculars saw a little smoke from my fire, so they came back to investigate.
And in less than two weeks we’ll be back in LA!
Or I will be back, at least.
My guess is that if they ever find Bob, they’ll find the original occupant in the same place.
I wonder what that original occupant’s fantasy was?
A few days ago someone mentioned that game of picking a “desert island” companion. I started to think about it. I’m sure her choice wouldn’t have minded the company, but my guess is that most people’s fantasy “desert island” companion would have a very different choice than you or me… So, from there, this story :)