After the Storm
“So Wilson what are you going to do now?” I asked.
“Well for tonight, I guess we will go to one of those places with “atmosphere” out on Jefferson Island,” He suggested.
What he was suggesting was one of the restaurants on the bay side of Jefferson Island. The ocean side was filled with multilevel hotels. On the bay side of the road down the middle of the island, there were several very nice restaurants. Some of them even served mixed drinks at their tables, but there were no lounges. Those were reserved for the Hotels.
“Okay just this once, but after today we are going to have to find a home style restaurant somewhere,” I insisted.
“That’s fair enough. I know you hate all the phony atmosphere from a can. It’s what you get at a second class tourist location though,” Wilson said.
“I know and I’ll play nice,” I promised. Dinner wasn’t too bad. I let Wilson choose since he was more familiar with the Island Cuisine. He dated those kinds of women. You know, the ones who wanted to be taken to fancy restaurants to show off their new hundred dollar shoes.
I wasn’t wearing my dyke boots, so I was okay for a fancy place. The most likely scenario was that they would seat us in an alcove or behind a post, but I was good with that.
“So Wilson what is good here?” I asked.
“Their beef dishes got high marks in the brochure of places to eat on Jefferson Island,” he suggested.
“Then steak it will be,” I decided.
The food actually was very good, but the country club atmosphere put me off. I suffered through it though. In the end I gave the waiter my credit card to pay the bill. They had thoughtfully added the tip to our bill.
“So what did you think?” Wilson asked when we were in the car.
“I thought we had to get the Bed and Breakfast running again,” I replied. “Was that your intention?”
“I going to plead the fifty on that one,” he said.
“Well let’s go home. I still have time to check on the email accounts before bedtime,” I said. It was 10 PM and I was tired. We had a full day cleaning up the place. Not to mention I had been outside in the after the storm rain all day lugging shit around. I was absolutely exhausted. I knew that rain or shine I had to go to the airfield and take a good look around. I had driven by to see the garage still standing with no apparent damage, but I hadn’t really checked it out. There were too many other pressing issues. Plus I had a monumental hangover.
I was in bed by eleven and instantly asleep. I had terrible dreams. I had been too drunk to dream the night before, so I made up for it the night after the storm. My sleep was ragged as they used to say in sandbox. Never a full night’s sleep. That more than anything else beat me down.
When I awoke it was daylight outside and the sun was trying to peak through the backside of the storm. I drank coffee and waited until 7:30 AM before I drove to the airfield. The roads were too wet for the trike and I really didn’t feel up to a run. I drove the truck to the airfield, then parked it at the entrance and walked to the garage. I found everything just as I had left it.
It took me half an hour to walk the field to be sure nothing dangerous had blown onto it. When I was sure it was clear, I took the plane up. There was a no fly zone over the landfall site of the storm. I flew within fifty miles of the storms path inland to see the outer reaches of the destruction. It didn’t appear to be that bad. It must have been a small hurricane, I thought.
Since I had pretty much reached the safe range of the plane I flew home. I put the plane down without incident then spent twenty minutes putting it away. Even after all that I still got home before Wilson managed to drag ass out of bed.
I was showered and dress in jeans and a camo tee shirt when he finally made it to the kitchen area. “So did you make it out to the airfield yet?” Wilson asked.
“Yes, I even went up to look at the storms damage. I couldn’t fly over the worst of it they have restricted fly zones for a couple of days. I expect it is to give the news helicopters a shot at it without having to worry about gawkers,” I said.
“Yeah people like you,” Wilson said with a laugh. “So I am going to do some research on the old railroad hotel building.”
“Do you really think we need a downtown B&B in New Wales?” I asked.
“I most certainly do,” Wilson said. “We might not have the mother and daughter singers, but we can have karaoke or something like it. That little stage in the bar has got to be part of anything we do.”
“I don’t know that I agree with that,” I said. “You know Wilson, we don’t know shit about running a B&B, but I know someone who does.”
“The Brit?” Wilson asked.
“And Jeremy, they can probably get us headed in the right direction and tell us what we need to do to be successful,” I said.
“Let me get the dry facts from the bank, or whoever owns it, before we get them involved,” Wilson suggested.
“Fair enough,” I said. “Did we ever get paid for finding those kids?” I asked.
“Don’t you even care about the business?” Wilson asked.
“Of course I do. I intend to start checking the books any day now just as soon as the bank tells me I’m over drawn,” I informed him.
“Well for a quick summery then,” he said pulling up his laptop up to the dining table.
“You have my bank account on you laptop? How safe is that?” I asked.
“This isn’t just any laptop this is top of the line, state of the art. It is about as fast and strong as the monster on my desk. Everything in this laptop is encrypted with CIA type encryption codes. It can not be hacked,” Wilson said.
“Sure Wilson when we are doing thirty years in a super max prison, I’m going to get permission to kick your ass everyday,” I said with a laugh.
“I do dump it every night. This one really just ties me into he monster, but I dump the day’s work at the end of day, or if someone I don’t know comes to the door,” Wilson said. “Anyway do you want a quick rundown on how your businesses are doing?”
“Sure tell me how fast I’m running through my money,” I said.
“Not much at all. First of all you started with just under two mil and so far your income is about 170K believe it or not. I had a hard time believing it, but the numbers don’t lie. Of course you paid for this boat, the Marina, the airfield, the airplane, the Honda, the office equipment, and my bonuses. Those items did put quite a dent in your cash.
The total expenditures were almost half a million. That is just in the first six months. I think you need to think about turning a profit now,” Wilson said.
“Well Wilson in my defense, I only plan to buy one boat, one airplane, one air field and one factory,” I said then after a pause I added, “this year.”
“The good news is none of your business investments lost any money, so worst case you are breaking even. If you don’t figure in the boat, airfield and the plane.”
“Then of course we won’t figure those things into our plans. Now do your hotel research and I’ll will check my super secret email,” I said. “Then since we are not broke, let’s go out and spend some money.”
“Sure what did you have in mind?” Wilson asked.
“Hell there is nothing I want, I hoped you did,” I said.
“I would like to be a kid again. If I can’t be a kid I would like to remember when I was a kid,” he said.
“Okay how do we buy that,” I asked.
“Fishing, we live on a beautiful river and we have never been fishing. We have a barge but not a fishing boat,” he said.
“So you want to buy a fishing boat and trailer so you can go fishing one time and revisit your youth?” I asked.
“Okay when you say it like that it sounds foolish,” he said.
“No it doesn’t,” I admitted. “But where does one go to buy a boat in such a small town?” I asked.
“I don’t know if there are any small fishing boats left after the storm,” Wilson said. “I’ll do some research while I work on the hotel.”
“Good, I’ll see if there are any jobs for us,” I said opening my email box. There was nothing but spam. So I went to Google to research small fishing boats. I thought everything sounded too expensive but I had promised Wilson.
“Since I know you like to buy local when you can, there is a boat sales company and marina on the other side of the river over near the Watch Tower section of town. The claim they have hundreds of boats for sale and immediate delivery,” Wilson said.
“You know this is going to be way too expensive for us to use one time,” I said. “If I buy this thing, you and I are going fishing every afternoon that we don’t have jobs. Now do you still want to buy a boat?”
“A small one,” Wilson said with a laugh.
“Crap, let’s go look at it. Seems nobody has a job for us today,” I said.
“Sylvia, it really hasn’t stopped raining yet,” Wilson said.
“What has that got to do with a job in Tennessee or New Orleans,” I said.
“Come on you need to take your mind off work,” Wilson advised.
“Easy for you to say Wilson. I have to make enough money to pay you,” I said.
“Hey I work for a percentage of the job so no job no pay,” he said.
“And how long could you live without being paid,” I asked.
“A month maybe,” Wilson said with a laugh.
“So I guess after another week it will be alright if I panic,” I said.
“Sylvia, you don’t do this to pay me. You pay me so you can do this,” Wilson said with a laugh. “You are damn smart, smart enough to use every tool you can find. I’m just one of the tools that’s all.”
“Okay you keep telling yourself how important you are to the job. Truth is I find you amusing like an old dog laying on the porch farting all day,” I said smiling at him.
“If I thought that was how you truly felt, I’d leave. Now lets go buy a boat,” Wilson said.
We went to the marina he had mention to look at boats new and used. After the tour and the sales pitch, I walked Wilson away from the salesman. “What do you think?” he asked.
“I think he has got a lot of balls to ask 1500 bucks for a two seat flat bottom alum fishing boat, even if it is new,” I said staring Wilson down.
“Yeah the good looking used ones are still a grand and that is without a motor,” he said.
“There has to be something that you and I can get in and go fishing for a couple of hours. Something that isn’t going to cost us more than we could ever use enough to pay for it,” I said.
“Yeah I’ll go on line and see what is out there. I had an alum fishing boat in mind. Let me see what else there is?” Wilson suggested.
Edited by Walt