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By Way of Today


It Would be Easier if Things were Completely Different, Not Almost Exactly the Same

Summary for Saturday, May 13: Dr. Paulette and Stormy arrive on the Island. They eat, walk on the beach, collect seashells, and get the mail, you know, the usual.

On the airplane, Dr. Paulette sleeps. Stormy reads the inflight magazine. The plane encounters turbulence and Dr. Paulette wakes. She tells Stormy that she had a dream where she woke up to tell Stormy that she had a dream and she thought if she told him then it would be a dream come true. Stormy doubts that’s how it works. Dr. Paulette continues describing the dream while Stormy catches first sight of land out the window. He looks back at Dr. Paulette and smiles. She buckles her seatbelt and closes her eyes.

Stormy and Dr. Paulette descend the stairs of their airplane and walk across the tarmac. They ride in the back of a taxi. They get their bags from the taxi and walk toward the marina. They pass boat after boat until they get to a cabin cruiser called Berkeley’s Boat. The owner of the boat introduces himself as Dr. Berkeley. Stormy and Dr. Paulette board. Stormy quietly asks Dr. Paulette how many names she thinks he went through before settling on that one. Dr. Berkeley says it's only the three of them and they can shove off anytime but there's no hurry. Stormy says he's ready. Dr. Berkeley says he forgot mention it on the phone but he doesn't dock on the Island. He hopes they're good swimmers. They'll have to do the last thousand yards on their own. Stormy says he hates the water. Dr. Berkeley says that he can give them a little rowboat. “For a fee of course.”

Stormy and Dr. Paulette row toward the Island. The boat is slowly taking water. Stormy says not to worry that they’ll probably make it to shore before it becomes a problem. Dr. Paulette tells Stormy he should be the one who’s worried. She can swim just fine.

Stormy and Dr. Paulette sit in an Island themed cafe called O.R.I.GIN. They have towels around their necks and their hair is still wet. Dr. Paulette says that's the easiest it's ever been for her getting to the Island. The first time her plane crashed. The second time - a waiter interrupts. Dr. Paulette orders the herb and ginger fish cakes and a ginger beer. Stormy asks for a ginger lassi. Dr. Paulette says he should get food. That it will help with the nausea. He reluctantly asks for the sweet potato and ginger soup. Stormy remarks that the restaurant decorations seem unnecessary, but that it reminds him of someplace. He notices a television playing in the corner. A woman on screen says don’t worry about what you can’t control Dirk. Dirk says he used to be a singer. But his career’s taken a backseat to running the club. Now he’s more of a bad barista. He says Jessie wouldn’t understand. Dr. Paulette turns around to see what has grabbed Stormy’s attention. Jessie says he shouldn’t be so hard on himself. He’ll get the hang of brewing coffee. He just needs to give it time. Stormy asks Dr. Paulette if she’s seen this program. She seems mildly annoyed and waves off the question. Finally she says, “Been there, done that.” Stormy asks what she means. She says she used to be in the business. Stormy asks what the show is called. Jessie asks Dirk what he is passionate about. Dr. Paulette holds up her glass and asks the waiter if she can get more water.

Dr. Paulette and Stormy walk along the beach. Stormy says the Island feels less exotic than he’d imagined. The sand isn’t even very nice. He asks what day it is and if they crossed the International Date Line. Dr. Paulette sits down on the sand. She says it’s probably a Monday or a Tuesday, but what does it matter. There are lots of them and they repeat each week. Stormy says that doesn’t seem helpful, and that maybe days should have their own names. Dr. Paulette says she’s heard crazier ideas. He should try it out. Stormy stands near the water and skips shells. He holds one up to the sun, examining it in the light. He puts it in his pocket. Stormy tells Dr. Paulette that he’s lacking any frames of reference. He’s disoriented. Dr. Paulette says, “Isn’t that what you wanted?” Stormy says he wanted to leave that behind him. Dr. Paulette suggests that, “Maybe you can’t drop one thing without picking up another. You should at least carry it for more than a minute to get a better feel for what you have in your hand.” Stormy looks in his hand. He throws the shell into the ocean. Dr. Paulette points to a house not far off in the distance and says, “That’s you.” The key should be under the mat, but if it’s not to call the landlord. There’s a sign out front with the number. Stormy looks at the house and then back to Dr. Paulette. He says, “I guess I’ll go now?” Dr. Paulette is lost in thought and doesn’t seem to hear him. She funnels sand through her fists. She shouts to be heard above the waves. “Breakfast is served from six to nine-thirty.” Stormy waves. She says even louder, “But you don’t have to eat.”

Stormy walks up to the beachfront house. The mailbox is practically overflowing. Stormy scoffs. What kind of place is this? He briefly flips through the envelopes and reads some of the names. “Alice Horton, Ned Charles, Caroline Brady.” He supposes it must be a short term time-share. Stormy grabs the whole pile and walks up the lane. There’s a plaque next to the front door reading, “Stormy Sales” Stormy lifts up the doormat and grabs the key. Just as he’s about to unlock the door, a man opens it from the inside and steps out. He has a gym bag slung over his shoulder. “Apologies, friend,” he says. “I was supposed to be out of here already.” Stormy is confused. He looks from the plaque to the man standing next to it. The man notices the stack of mail in Stormy’s hand. “Oh! Thanks for getting the mail. Anything for me?” Stormy says he wouldn't know and hands the whole stack to the man. While flipping through the mail, the man says his name is Aiden. He takes a couple pieces and drops the rest on the porch. He turns back and waves to Stormy and sets off down the lane. Stormy steps inside the house and locks the door behind him. He walks to the kitchen like he’s done it a thousand times. He gets a can of water from the fridge. He opens it and turns around. Other than the painting on the wall in the dining room, the house looks a lot like the one he left in Laredo. He pulls a handful of seashells from his pocket and leaves them in small pile on the counter.

Tomorrow’s News:

Marlena learns that Samantha is working with Kiki.
Two more arrive on the Island.