Blue Rubber Pool Excerpt 302

Poor Marianne, sweet lamb. Prim and proper, nails painted for summer, delicately shucking oysters between bites of a fried bologna sandwich, sips of Corona, pinches of lime, not even breaking a sweat despite the boiling heat. Polite nibbles, little pinky extended. The total Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.

What sealed the deal was her proficiency with that shucking knife. I could not resist watching. My eyes went to her, bewitched, the way they lose themselves in the dancing skirts of late night flames along the darkest runs of the Money Trail.

Only this time they found Goodness where before they were lost in Evil.

What a pair we were that day at the ferry landing, opposites balanced on the fulcrum of time and place. Marianne, a daisy freshly plucked from the field, sweet and clean as an ad for Ivory soap, innocent as the Dawn Wells character Mary-Anne on the television series Gilligan’s Island. What a contrast to myself: hands dirty from the sailboat’s engine room, cargo shorts dirty from too little time ashore, faded surfing tee with one armpit torn out, cheap yellow sunglasses with blue lenses propped up on hair standing up from a dive—checking the zincs before departing to St Kitts then, from there, Swan Island off Honduras then, beyond Swan Island to places undetermined.

I was leaving. She had just arrived, having come over on the Calibogue Ferry, and was waiting for a ride to her rental, the friend running late, dead battery in the golf cart. If not for that, we’d never have met. I’d be island hopping, bopping around in jungles. Marianne might’ve wed a small town lawyer, a preacher perhaps. But, no, Daufuskie—known for neglected batteries leaving people stranded at all hours in the oddest places—facilitates a version of musical chairs wherein the most unlikely of matches are made. Although natives take it in stride, it made me uneasy. Where I had been, a thing like that could’ve ruined my health.

Anyway, there she was, poor Marianne, sweet lamb, waiting like bait. And there I was, tuned to her subtle nun-like vibe and clearly aware of hungry wolves circling, closing in.

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Buy it here.

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–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

Meet Marianne (NOT really the Dawn Wells character on Gilligan’s Island)

[For convenience, 99.9% of my posts remain at Pineapple Hill, the website about my life in the Carolina boonies. I hope you’ll take a look. — Tim]


My lovely young bride, whose real name I cannot disclose because she prefers anonymity, reminds me even now of Mary Ann Summers—the sweet, good-natured farm girl played by Dawn Wells on Gilligan’s Island. For this reason, in Blue Rubber Pool and in these occasional blog writings, she is given the name Marianne. It is a code word that means something special. It means “this lovely person that led me away from the life I was living and replaced it with something altogether different: not as good in some ways but far better—beyond my imagination—in others.” When you hear me refer to Marianne, it is this that I mean to say.

Marianne has gone to Daufuskie for her annual round-up with other women willing to leave homes, gardens, pets and even children in the hands of husbands for a full week of week of being beach hens sunning by day, trading recipes and sips of wine by night. I am glad she gets away. She deals with parts of the world I have no patience for. And she deals with me dealing with the things I deal with quietly, out of her view. She knows I see the world differently because I’ve seen different things of the world. I am glad she gets away because one time, late at night, when she was finally sleeping restfully, I woke her to ask “Do you think it possible I might be a sociopath?” Poor Marianne. She never knows what curve ball’s coming next.

We are total opposites. She’s against the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue.

Anyway, as noted, she’s gone down to Daufuskie for the week so it’s just Jack and I manning the fort. (and, yes, Pineapple Hill is definitely fort-like). It may look like a laid back beach house in a cow pasture but let me assure you there are counter measures built in all around.

Jack, by the way, it our Chihuahua-Terrier pound pup. A TerHuaHUa. He pretends to be my wing man but is scared shitless when Marianne’s away. She just two days out and already the master bathroom is a HazMat situation. Problem: I’m not yet recovered enough from last year’s injury to dispose of the evidence. Not in its current physical state. It’ll need to “set up” first. Like cement, drying.

We have four more days to go. A lot can happen. But my plan is to do some writing. Some explaining, actually, about Blue Rubber Pool and what the deal is here.


Tim Bryant
Surf Director