Bahamian nightdream

It’s nearly 2am in Nassau. I’m sitting in a room full of poker players. Fifty yards away, poker’s version of soccer hooligans are chanting. They’re fueled by a multi-rum drink and the local beer, Kalik. Unmentionable amounts of money are sliding back and forth across green-felted tables. For the week, I have a Bahamian work permit. It prohibits me from doing anything stupid or enjoyable. So, I sit and stare.

I realized today that I have spent a grand total of ten minutes outside in the last six days. Every one of those minutes was spent under the moon. There is no day and there is no night. It’s all inside. Most people think freedom turns people wild. Not so. Structure turns me into an animal.

I’m an animal right now.

The worst part is, I’m an animal that can’t write. Whatever visceral experiences I’m enduring right now are either so raw or so boring that they don’t fit into words. It’s such an odd fucking world. The only thing that’s made sense in the past six days is when my phone rang late last night. The voice on the other end said, “Blue Horseshoe Loves Anacot Steel.”

It was my buddy Pauly calling. I was in the Bahamas, he was in Australia. I hadn’t talked to him in a month. We spoke for 25 seconds. It made me feel better for a few minutes. Today, as I thought about it, it reminded me of another quote from the same movie.

“The main thing about money, Bud, is that it makes you do things you don’t want to do.”

I am in awe of the people who love me. There are more than I can count, and I struggle to understand why. There are many people who tell me to stop thinking so much about the why and spend more time just loving people back. Those people are right, but it’s harder than it should be. And I don’t know why.

It occurs to me that I am probably on the edge of falling apart. I keep listening to the same song over and over.

“Sunday, Sunday lying in the grass, laying on my back and thinking about the past, Nothing to but sit around all day, getting used to this, it’s gonna be that way for a long time.”

A couple of nights ago, somebody I know here got drunk and kept repeating something over and over again. “I am worth something. I want to go home.”

That’s all we want, right?

We want to be worth something and we want to go home.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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5 Responses

  1. Anonymous beaker says:

    JF’nC. Get your ass home and quit your job. I did. Shhhhh, don’t tell mom and dad. Seriously.

  2. Anonymous AmyC says:

    You’re listening to the wrong song, my friend.

    “You rise as high as your dominant aspiration. You descend to the level of your lowest concept of your self. Free your mind and your ass will follow.”

    Funkadelic – Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts

  3. We are having the same problem… literally worlds apart. We’re both sitting on an island working like monkeys, waiting for the time when we get to go home. That day could not come sooner. Man, I just ended a 16 hour day totally hungover and have to get up and work another marathon day before I crash and repeat the process. I feel your pain, brother.

    P.S. Blue horseshoe loves BlueStar Airlines.

  4. I tend to go with something to cheer me up. May I remind you of Lionel Ritchie…the young Lionel…the one with the fro and the Commadores….Easy Like Sunday Morning.

    Just think of your kid running and jumping on your bed to watch t.v. with you, man. Those moments are precious. Enjoy the breeze over there.

  5. Anonymous gracie says:

    You are, Otis. And you will.

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