I know this title kinda ruins my story.
I may change it.
I often do. I start a blog with one title just to get in the mood and then use something completely different.
I try to be like Penelope Trunk with my titles.
But I cant. I just cant be that deliberately controversial only to lure readers into yet another story of a fight with my husband.
We are finally, years after buying a piece of land in Eleuthera, thinking of putting in the driveway, so I met with Mr. Sands (yes, he of making sandy driveways) to discuss topography, mature trees and boundary lines.
But Neville (Sands) is also chatty. He likes to sit in his windowless air-conditioned office and shoot the breeze.
So I told him one of my favorite Eleuthera (there are many) stories. One that involved me directly.
The year before we had rented an old house in the town of Governor’s Harbour over Christmas. Tamarind is a big, stone sea captain’s house with four big bedrooms upstairs, a large wooden central staircase, porches, etc. A little run-down, but perfect for all six of us.
In those days I was already collecting beach plastic like crazy, the yard was full of it, and I used the kitchen table for making my “jewelry”. My tool kit stood open. A small amount of silver and even less gold wire lay amongst the beach debris.
I don’t know if somehow the word got out that I was a “jeweler”.
And we were careful, Eleuthera is very safe, but still we were in town and so we checked doors and windows every night before going to bed.
That night I got up at 3 am to pee.
I never pee in the night.
I go to sleep at night and I wake up in the morning.
I do not pee.
I am also blind.
I am legally blind when my contacts sit in their little blue box in the bathroom and when I shut my eyes its about the same as having them open only darker (I am -7.25 in both eyes for those in the know).
So I get up and walk onto the landing (which is the only way from our bedroom to the upstairs bathroom.)
Running up the stairs, not more than 4 feet from me, is a kid (I can tell) in a black hoodie (pulled up).
So what do I do?
What does he do?
Then he realizes that this is not quite how these situations are supposed to go (I was a little slower and still thinking that if this guy was in my house at 3 in the morning I probably knew him and ought to be polite), he turned and ran.
Raced like Jackass down the stairs and out.
OK. So now am awake, like fully and I think.
SHIT! That was a burglar!
I still have to pee so I pee and I think.
I decide that the last thing I want is husband running through the bushes with a very blunt (rental homes never have sharp knives) kitchen knife after a kid 30 years younger than he (give or take, he was at a disadvantage.)
Next I check on the girls – they are all three fast asleep.
Fate had me at their door like a sentry just in time, and when I realized this I did get shaky.
So I woke husband. Or tried.
“I just saw a burglar on the stairs, honey.”
I considered going back to bed but this would not look good in the morning. Like my story’s credibility would be diminished.
So I woke him up hard and together we found the window in the front parlor that been pried open.
Then we called the police.
Governor’s Harbour has one policeman on duty, at night, and he arrived about ten minutes later, looking sleepy and, well, very relaxed.
He sat down at my kitchen table, I cleared some of my beach plastic to make room for his paper work, and we filed our case.
Was anything stolen?
I hadn’t checked.
So I looked around and found that my wallet had been emptied (about six dollars,I never have cash), and that one of my bling flip-flops was missing.
The chief sent me upstairs to get my passport and when I came down he was playing with my plyers and wearing my super over-magnifying glasses that are made to make tiny detailed work easier . They also make eyes look like this:
He asked if I would be able to identify the kid and I said no way. I am blind. I wouldnt even be able to tell you if he was black or white.
He thought this was funny.
Now back to Neville Sands, a year plus later.
I tell him the story. Just like above, only when I get to the bit where I say:
HI! To the burglar.
Neville sits up, slaps his hand on his desk (I jump), and shouts:
“So YOU are the lady that says HI to burglars.”
WTF? I think (one does not say this in Eleuthera.)
“How do you know?” I ask.
“You are famous, man!” He says. (the man-thing one does say to women in Eleuthera). “Like everyone knows.”
“Like that stupid kid tells all his friends that he’s doing this house in town, and this lady sees him on the stairs, and she’s so crazy – she says HI to him, and he’s even more stupid and he says HI back and this makes all his friends laugh and they think its the funniest thing thats happened all year!”
How do you know this? I ask.
“Well, meanwhile the policeman on duty that night is also telling all his friends. They also think its hilarious, so everyone is telling everyone and then the “bad” guys are telling the “good” guys the story, you know the kids name and all, and now they have him cause he’s telling everyone bout you sayin’ Hi and all.”
“So they got him?”
“Yeah man! He went to Juvie for six months, he’d done some other stuff too, so don’t feel bad, it wasn’t really you.”
Then Neville told me the story of another kid who stole a Princeton (bright orange with Princeton logo) sweat shirt during a burglary and decided to wear it right away, around town. What ensued needs no further explanation.
Its a small, very small island.
And we love it.