I was not in top form in my first days on this cursed isle. I was, one might say, a little depressed. Had there been no one around to see me, I would have shut off the hysterical waterworks and pulled myself together, at least a bit. But there were two seagulls, and, in my maudlin fury, I will admit that I dragged it out. The fortuitous barrel that bobbed me to life was full of tapioca powder and, having been not quite watertight, was consequently full of a salty, clumpy saccharine mess that oozed out into a puddle around me. For a week, I did nothing but lie in that pudding, make mucky angels, cuddle with it, and scoop handful after handful into my mouth while weeping and occasionally trying to convince the chary birds to join me in my endless feast. Their non-response only infuriated me further, which manifested itself in a further gorging and blubbering confession to them about how much I’ve always respected seagulls because they know how to hold it together no matter what people say about them, they just don’t care and do what they got to do. On a related note, I must be history’s only castaway to have put on weight in the first days of wreckage.
Fortunately, this unitary diet produced a terrific set of stomach cramps and so, less because of any willpower and more because of my strange shame at the thought of relieving myself in front of a beaked audience, I dragged my swollen frame up from the sticky concrete beach onto which I had been deposited and turned, for the first time, to face the obscure island behind me.
This island was, to my surprise, neither desert nor rock but city. I whooped with joy as I loped, bent-double in pain, toward the first building near me, a little cafe. There was no one inside, but all the better, because I didn’t have any money and I didn’t want to have to ask to use their facilities with them knowing I wasn’t going to buy anything while hearing the horrid sounds from the bagno, or pretending that I would get a coffee after and then needing to act as if I had somehow just noticed that I had lost my wallet and letting my feigned panic function as an excuse to rush out without purchase.