I woke, feeling different, in a place that I’d never seen before. The new adventure, the scale of things to come far from my understanding but very, very live and real. The sand, in my socks and covering my face, the warmth of the sun ignoring me, this place was my own little island. Picking myself up, weak, rising to rest upon my knees, mind racing, head spinning, the first instinct is shelter and right now, right this second, it’s what I'm going to find.
The shelter, of my own making, created with the rough understanding of survival and fear, helped last night. It’s acceptable, almost passable, but as long as it withstands the next few days it’ll be perfectly fine. I know that I need food, that clear water of life, which is my very next attempt at surviving this creation of my own. I'm not afraid, I'm simply aware, that I'm here and no panic or strife will help. I know that I'm anxious, the anxiety rising within my chest and blood but that’s okay. My body is telling me, informing me, that I need something. But, first, water and food. Without them I will suffer.
Today I learnt how to fish. Four hours. Four entire hours before I managed to catch the smallest little thing imaginable. It was a success, a victory, a moment of brief reprisal to this cold, barren Island I’m on. I know that there’s sunshine, I can see it, feel it, but it refuses to find me at this very moment. It’ll return, it’ll find me, as I'm that kind of person. Beat me, slap my face, say the cruellest things you can, as it’ll not defeat me. Although, I know, that only I can defeat myself.
I found a lone crab today. We played ‘pinch the toes’. It was fun. I laughed. I realised that the world, no matter how dry or desolate, cannot keep someone, anyone, from smiling at the silliest of things. There will always, always be moments, where your grace and fortitude shine through. Even if it’s from something so silly as this. I'm surviving. The fire is there, I know, as I need to cook the fish, but that only appears for as long as needed and then vanishes.
I opened my eyes to feel sore toes today. Mr. Crab must have taken my sleeping to assume that I'm still playing. Each day, waking early, my mind thumps, my mind racing, the never-ending torture of sand consuming the quiet and annoying my nerves. The sand will never, ever win. It cannot. It won’t. Solid ground will be found. Soon. Very soon.
Today I tied a small fish to a thin line of string. I say string as I don’t really know what it was. I waited, not for long, as the Seagull, whom I called Mr. Gill, arrived to take its gift of delight. Hesitant, screaming at the top of its voice, I moved the fish and Mr.Gill displayed annoyance. I'm so silly. I cannot deny this. I love to play. I’ll always be playful. It’s my innocence you see. Still intact, despite a few of the naughty things I've said, as well as done. This is my survival. This is me.
I'm surviving. I'm living. I'm still here, on this Island, this small place of mine. Today I found a phone, with battery life, so I decided to call my friends. They said that they missed me, adored me, loved me and more. It was a blessing, for the smallest of time. Their words fuelling me, embracing me, until the Island returned to its usual whispering winds of never-ending thoughts.
I decided that I needed rescue today. I could use the phone, I could ask another to join me, to become trapped with me, but that wouldn't do. I sat alone, on the beach, the crab minding his own business and Mr. Gill wanting fish. I gathered all of the wood I could find, from the boat that self-destructed sending me here. Fragments. Parts of my mind. Each wooden section a part of a bigger, more complicated picture. I know how I got here. It’s not rocket science, it’s not something far from normal, but now it’s time to realise that I cannot stay forever. That would lead to madness.
I only have a few days to go, creating my new method of transport, surviving each day on the scraps I can keep down, the memories still threatening my sanity. This place, this moment amongst days, is an awakening. I know where I am. I know how to survive. I damn well understand that nothing, absolutely nothing, will stop me from reaching the mainland again. It’s inevitable. It’s just ahead of me.
Another scratch onto the tree, another full day of anxiety within my body. I could almost get used to this, embrace it, create from it, but that simply wouldn't do. I'm one within a million people amongst their own small islands. The sand is now starting to warm. The Island is already changing, allowing me more space. I still refuse to stay here.
The waves, it must have been the waves, that smashed my boat into smithereens. I was standing on a platform, with others, a pedestal of my own making, sailing through this life and one by one, the waves hit me. Smashed me. Yet I ignored them. Kept on going, never looking back, safe on that damn pedestal. Then, one by one, the platforms vanished. All that was left was the crash. Now, right now, I need to create a new platform, without the damn pedestal, that can lead to the only platform I’ll ever need. Me, myself and I. I may want others, but need is something different. Something personal, private, a gift that’s special and only given to one other. I know exactly what I want and I will prevail.
It’s the last day. I refuse to stay here any more. It’s not for me. I'm not this person. I've struggled, been caught completely off guard, my heart exposed, that one too many times and now I’m ready. The reset is on the way. No more sand. I’ll say goodbye to Mr Gill. I’ll let Mr. Crab pinch my toes one more time, then piece together the fragments and treat them to a new understanding. I’ll resolve the cracks. I’ll remove the bruised wood. I’ll seal the exterior and move forward. There’s no way that anything can keep me down for long. I'm too alive. I'm too loving. I'm part of life and that’s what I intend to live.
After all, now that the 12 days are over, I realise that no person, Man or Woman… should ever be an Island.