There is always a morning after
We ran for an hour. The Girlie Girl had expected to run three miles and bury me, but she was shocked that I kept running. I think she felt it necessary to uphold the honor of the Swamp, most likely her arrogant attitude kept her going, when she should have stopped. Either way she was pretty worn out when we got back to the Cabin.
I was so out of breath I couldn’t speak. I was happy to see that the Girlie Girl was just as bad. I had worked with the female agents before, but they had always been like me. Okay mostly they were from some elite paramilitary group. Unlike me, from the department of fish and game, their files were filled with heroics. The new women were in the deception business, not the paramilitary.
They had been recruited for the soft operations, no doubt. The one who had run with me was a very fit red haired girl with beautiful ivory skin. She ran to keep her body in a different kind of shape. The breast enhancement surgery was obvious but it was well done. It was so much a part of her personality, that I wondered if I might be wrong. Then a second look convinced me there were plastic bags of saline behind those nipples.
I went into breakfast with the crew from the Gulfport raid. Colonel Martin came into the dining room. Everyone but me and the Girlie Girl stood. Martin sat down at the table with us. “Sylvia, I thought you might want to know that Andrew is going to make it. His operational days are over, but I have been trying to get him to enter the teaching staff, so now is a good time for that.”
“I’m glad he made it, I am just sorry Liam didn’t,” I said.
“Yeah me too,” Martin said. “So you know the tourist season is almost over, so what is next for you?”
“Oh my livelihood doesn’t depend on tourists,” I said.
“Good. By the way, when you turn on your TV at home there will most likely be a story about a bombing of a drug lord’s estate in Bolivia. It looks as though we are even. Unless they want to escalate. If they do, can I count on you?” Martin asked.
“Of course,” I said.
“Good,” he remarked, then ate his breakfast.
I drove the truck out of the compound and headed back to the coast. I got almost an hour of the drive done, when Wilson called. I saw his name and asked, “What’s up Wilson?”
“Well are you near home?” he asked.
“I’m about half an hour out, why?” he said.
“Well, I can tell you now and have you consumed with scheming, or I can wait till you get home. I think I will tell you now, so you can have a plan ready,” Wilson said.
“Just get to it Wilson what happened?” I asked.
“The hotel went to someone else. You had the better offer but the owner didn’t want to sell to you. I have no idea why that is,” he said.
“You mean everyone doesn’t love me and share my vision? Damn I’m heart broken. We just have to learn to roll with the punches,” I suggested. “I’ll be home soon and we will move to plan B. Of course I have no idea what that will be.”
As I drove over the ever worsening roads I thought about my situation. On the Interstate Highway for the first twenty miles I felt like shit. I was thinking about Liam being gone. Then for the next fifty miles of smaller and more dangerous state roads, I thought about my future. Where would I find some peace from the constant need to be on the move? The money hadn’t reduced my urge to ‘DO SOMETHING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE’. It wasn’t grand gestures I had been after, just small things. By the time I got down to the county road leading to the marina, I knew I was just as lost as ever. I did have tears streaming down my face. I felt so fucking lost.
When I pulled the candy cane colored pickup into the parking lot Wilson came out to greet me. “Are you alright? You sounded depressed,” he said.
“Wilson, I’m always depressed,” I replied with what I felt was candor.
“No you are not, you depress other people,” he said.
“I need to get back into my routine. I don’t function as well outside a routine as I thought,” I replied.
“It’s just afternoon, I can pull the boat out and we can go fishing,” he said.
“Hell let’s do it,” I agreed. The boat was kept on a kind of cart made from bicycle wheels. Since it only weighted a hundred pounds it could be rolled by hand to the edge of the water. There, after removing the tie downs, Wilson tipped the trailer and the hardened foam boat just slid into the water. He paddled it around the floating pier to the barge.
Once there we loaded the Sealed Lead Acid battery pack onto the boat. That along with the fishing rod for Wilson and the one pole for me took a very short amount of time. While Wilson launched, paddled, and loaded the boat, I made coffee. I stopped to take a pee then joined him on the boat. I allowed Wilson to run the trolling as it pushed the small boat at about five miles and hour.
When we found the small cove we set the home made anchor. Wilson had made it from a two liter coke bottle. He filled the bottle with concrete. Wilson had the bright idea to use a funnel to fill the coke bottle with dry concrete mix then he just added water. I had to admit that it had worked well. While the concrete was still wet, he shoved in a big bolt with a circle on top and a nut on the end. When it set up, he just tied a rope to the circle on top. We used that for an anchor. I had to admit it was ingenious and he was as proud as punch with his invention. I had no doubts that a thousand other people hadn’t already done the same but I didn’t question him too closely.
The fishing wasn’t too bad. If I had wanted to mess with cleaning them I had enough sunfish for a ‘mess’ as they said in the local area. If we knew someone who could use them, we would have been happy to deliver them. Since we didn’t know anyone, we threw them back into the river.
“Wilson is there anything you would really like to try before you die?” I asked. Yes I had death on my mind that day.
“Everybody has a few thing they would like to do. You know the bucket list kind of thing,” he said.
“So what is number one on your list?” I asked.
“You probably didn’t know, but I have been watching those Alaskan Gold Mining shows. I would like to prospect for gold. It doesn’t have to be in Alaska, and I don’t have to mine for it. Just finding it would be enough for me,” he said.
“Well I’m not going to move to Alaska, but if you find a place we can prospect within five hundred miles of here, we will give it a try. You will have to tell me what we need to buy to prospect, since I have no idea where to start,” I suggested.
“You are kidding aren’t you?” he asked.
“Not a bit. You are always telling me that I can learn anything on the internet. Find out where to go, and what we need to take with us to do this right.” I wasn’t excited but it was Wilson’s dream not mine.
Now for some ground rules,” I suggested. “The whole gold prospecting kit has to fit in a couple of back packs. I am not going to drag a bunch of boxes around.”
“I’ll check but I am pretty sure we can carry enough equipment to get a feel for it. Let me find out what kind of prospecting we want to do. Then where to do it and how to get to the spot,” Wilson suggested.
“Good try to get it all researched before the bad weather gets here. I don’t mind doing this in the winter, but I would prefer to do it no later than the fall though,” I suggested.
We are headed into the last of tourist season now. I doubt that we can be ready by October. That is the last of the really good weather for this kind of thing,” Wilson said.
“The we aim for the spring,” I suggested.
“Let me see what I can do. We have the whole month of September and October and probably some of November before the weather goes all to hell. I’ll get right on it,” Wilson said with a new lift in his voice.
His excitement was infectious. I wasn’t as interested as he was, but I also wasn’t interested in anything else. After the fishing we went to dinner. Then I sat at the computer playing word games till bedtime. I was too depressed to even go to the chat rooms. I had difficulty sleeping which was very unusual. I wanted to get up and run till I was exhausted, but I just lay in bed wishing I had something to do to occupy my feverish mind.
The next morning I awoke at 6 AM. I unplugged the trike’s battery from the charger and headed out to the airfield. When I arrived the sun was just clearing the trees. I towed the Canary into position and headed her into the prevailing wind. I stayed up two hours with about an hour of engine used. I sailed for equal amount of time. I used the engine to get to an altitude high enough so that I could sail over a great distance. It was a beautiful sight.
When I landed the plane I decided to cut the grass so I towed the plane back to the hanger and began riding the mower up and down the airstrip. At the same time I was thinking more about prospecting for gold. That chore gave me time to think. The more I did the more I got into the idea of prospecting. Neither Wilson nor I needed the money. It was the challenge for me. I expect that it was the same for Wilson. I trusted Wilson to at least keep the cost down and still give us a decent shot at finding something.
I had the grass trimmed and was pedaling the Adult Big Wheel toward home when the phone rang. I pulled onto the shoulder of the road to answer it. “Hello,” I said to Wilson. “What’s going on that couldn’t wait?”
“Nothing really I called because I was worried. You didn’t seem right last night and you didn’t come back on time this morning,” Wilson said.
“Well Mama Wilson, I cut the grass on the strip and now and I’m headed home. It’s too late for biscuits since MrBJ’s has changed over to lunch. I know you love their chicken but I don’t eat anyone’s chicken.”
“Well how about I go out on the Island and get pizza for lunch. By the time you get here and shower, I can be back with it,” Wilson said.
“Sure Pizza is fine. How late did you stay awake last night?” I asked.
“I was on the computer till about 4 AM. Now I feel like crap but I found out some things that are interesting,” he said.
“Oh really? You can tell me over pizza,” I suggested.
Edited by Walt