This is a response to Vol 10 John 3 ("The Professor")...
[This is part three of "Gilligan's Island"]
Why is everyone so serious all the sudden? Every time the skipper walks past he looks at me like he's waiting for something to happen.
I pull out one of the rubbers from my pocket and start to play with it. There is a slight breeze from the direction of the lagoon. I begin to think about Maryanne. At night all she wears is kind of an oversized shirt and her thighs catch the firelight. Her legs are just right: brown and smooth and strong, and her eyes are brown too. I put the rubber against my mouth and try to blow it up.
She was wearing a sarong with flowers all over it tight against her waist and as she curled down in front of me her hips flashed from behind the cloth. Her red hair was all over her shoulders and the sun moved through it and through those flowers so that I could see the shadows of her thighs. It occurred to me for the first time that the bikini top she was wearing was not a bikini at all but a fancy pink bra with flowers woven into the lace.
"What are you doing?"
I looked around in five directions at once and desperately tried to get the rubber back into my pocket. "Just thinking."
"Who were you thinking about?"
I knew better than to look into Ginger's eyes while she was asking a question. Ginger always looks right at you when she talks and her eyes can swallow you up if you're not careful. I couldn't find anything to say so I focused all of my attention on the knot in my shoelace.
"I saw you in the professor's hut this morning. You were in there for a long time."
"The professor thinks we might not ever get rescued."
"The professor thinks too much."
"I think this island is a wonderful place. It's more of a home than I've ever had. So what if we don't ever get off it? Worse things could happen."
Ginger turned away. "Nothing worse could happen."
A few months ago Ginger broke down in tears because she missed the stage. So we all got together and built a stage and put on a play and everything. We had music and curtains and footlights and we would have had an audience except that we were all on the stage. And afterwards we had a cast party with champagne and Ginger laughed and laughed.
"But we have a good time, most of the time, don't we?"
"Right, Gilligan. Mr. Howell was having such a good time last week that he tried to jump off a cliff."
"Yea, but that was only because he heard on the radio that Howell Industries had collapsed. But it was really Powell Industries. It was just a mistake. Boy! That was a close one!"
"Grow up, Gilligan. Mr. Howell has been living on the edge ever since we landed on this rock. He's like me, used to being at the center of things. He's spent his whole life issuing commands, making money, spending money. And now what's he got? A wife who's been in and out of the loony bin so many times she can hardly remember her name and a suitcase full of money that can't buy anything.
"I watch him sometimes, clutching that radio like it was a life preserver, listening to every word of the business report day after day. Do you know he makes pretend investments on the Stock Market? And lately he's even started to form pretend corporations and at night in his hut he merges them and rearranges their boards of directors.
"I know what that's like. I have pretend lovers I play with at night. I merge them and rearrange them in my mind. I've known so many men in my life, so many hungry men. And now I only have three. Maybe four."
When she said 'four' my heart started pushing so much blood into my face that I almost fell over. I kept my eyes on my shoelace but I could tell she was watching me. She put her hand on my knee.
"Gilligan, if I tell you a secret will you promise not to tell anyone?"
Ginger has hundreds and hundreds of secrets. I nodded my head but she put her hand on my chin and made me look into her eyes.
"Today is my birthday."
"But Ginger, we've got to have a party! A cake!"
"Be quiet, Gilligan. We're not going to tell anyone. I don't want them to know that I turned thirty today."
"I won't tell anyone. I promise. No one will ever guess you're that old. Not that thirty is, I mean, would you like a present?"
"Yes, Gilligan, I would."
I felt like a bird flying into those eyes of hers.
"You know that pink fruit on the tree that hangs over the lagoon. The professor says it's safe to eat. It's the only fruit on the island I haven't tasted yet. Maybe you could pull it down for me. Tonight after dark."
She touched her finger to her lips and then to my nose and she looked right into me. A breeze swept in from the lagoon like a sudden breath and she stood up and floated into the jungle.