Good Night Little Buddy

Voice Card  -  Volume 15  -  John Card Number 2  -  Thu, Jul 19, 1990 10:07 PM

This is a response to Vol 14 John 3 ("Forbidden Fruit")...

[This the seventh and final part of "Gilligan's Island"]

As far as I can see, Maryanne and Ginger are from two different planets. Everyone's always saying that women are hard to understand but that's just because they all come from different planets. It's hard to picture those two sleeping in the same hut night after night. What do they talk about? What do they say about men? And what do they think about each other? I have beached myself on the shore of a great mystery.

The tide is turning and I watch it go, the entire pacific ocean ebbing away. I never knew there could be blood involved. But she didn't seem to mind. I am grinning like I've never grinned before. Ginger Grant. My very first time and it's with a movie star on a beach in the South Seas under a full moon. Wow!

If Maryanne and Ginger are just two examples, what are other women like? I think about this for a minute and then it dawns on me that I will probably never find out. Everything I will ever learn about women I will learn from those two. Suddenly they seem very precious to me: the last two women on earth. Of course there's Mrs. Howell but she really is from another planet.

I suppose there could be children someday and maybe some of them will become women. Maybe I will have daughters! This thought is just too unreal; it won't quite fit into my head. And yet it could have happened already! Ginger knew I had rubbers but she didn't care. Was she using something? Did she visit the professor? There's so much I don't know.

I stand up. I start to follow the shoreline and I as I walk I scan the beach for footprints to see where Ginger came ashore. I've always thought of myself as a boy. How could I possibly be a father? And as I follow the edge of the lagoon my questions grow even wilder. If Ginger ever did get pregnant would I really know who the father was? I clench my teeth and in my mind I stand armed against the other men on the island. The other men. Wow!

The thoughts are coming fast and furious now. Maybe Maryanne was right. Maybe I should stand up for myself. But the more I think about it, the more I think there will be no more battles. I've already won the war. The others don't belong here; they're already dying. This is MY island, Gilligan's Island. I am king!

As I round the point I see in the distance the empty hull of the Minnow. She sits right where we first beached her. We stripped her clean long ago but we left the shell as a kind of memorial. No one had the heart to break her up and mostly we keep away from her. She's spooky, especially at night. And now I catch my breath because there's a light coming from inside her.

It's a flickering light like from a candle and now I can hear voices. The voices are laughing. Seeing the skeleton of our wreck echoing with laughter and flickering lights, and being all alone under a full moon, it is easy to believe in ghosts. The skipper knows that there are ghosts and that the whole sea is haunted. But I take another step and then I hear Mr. Howell's voice in the ship, and Ginger is with him.

"You are hungry tonight, my dear."

"I had an appetizer before I came."

They are laughing and breathing hard and I know that they are naked in there. I creep up to the bow and start rocking it back and forth and the Minnow groans. Ginger is telling him to be quiet, there's something out there, and I go right up to a crack in the wood and blow out their candle. Death, I whisper, death, until they can feel my breath coming through the wood. Then I run into the jungle and start climbing.

I climb until I reach the start of the little ridge that runs across our island like a backbone. I can see the whole ocean from there, miles and miles under the moon. And now I'm really alone. I can hear the surf pounding away at the beach and it's the saddest sound in the world. I can see the Minnow down there; the candle flame is dancing again. I can see all the huts: the girls' hut with my flowers stuck in the wall. Maryanne is probably in there sweeping as hard as she can and crying. I can see the Howell's hut. Mrs. Howell is fast asleep. Over there is the professor's hut with its yellow green glow. And in the clearing is our hut and the toolhut and the dinner table. I hope the skipper's alright.

Hawaii is only a couple hundred miles away, but it might as well be a million. The ocean is just so big that next to it this whole island is like a mote of dust. We'll keep hearing voices from Hawaii until the radio goes dead, and then we'll be on our own. Sorry, Mom. I'm going to grow up here without you.

After a while I'm back in my hammock, but that pounding sound stays with me now and I'm torn between feeling sad at how big the ocean is and laughing for joy to think there's a whole island like an emerald smack dab in the middle of it. The skipper is below me and he's so drunk that he's singing out loud. "No boats, no lights, no motorcars, not a single luxury. Like Robinson Crusoe, it's primitive as can be."

"Good night, skipper," I say, and he stops singing and reaches up to hold my hand.

"Good night, little buddy."