Island of Matrimony
“I never want to see you again,” she shouted.
“It’s a pretty small island. I think that might be difficult to pull off,” he replied.
“Fine, you stay on that half of the island and I will stay on this half.” She dragged her foot in a line across the sand until she reached the palm tree.
“How are you planning to divide up the palm tree,” he asked.
“Well, I suppose when the coconuts fall, whichever side they land on, they belong to the owner of that side.”
“You’re incredible,” he shouted. “A freaking genius!”
“You’re mother thought so. My parents, on the other hand, said marrying you was the worst mistake I could have made. I should have listened to them. I guess I’m not that smart after all.”
“Sharon, you do realize we are going to die out here. We’ve got no drinkable water, no shade and how long do you think these coconuts are going to last us?”
“What, you want me to just forgive you, to run into your arms and die there? What you did…”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m a pig. I know. Whatever! I just…” He sunk his head down into his hands.
“When the tour guide finds out we’re missing he will come looking for us, Mark,” Sharon replied, her voice growing softer.
Mark didn’t answer. He just wiped his sleeve across his wet nose and stared off into the endless blue ocean.
Sharon slumped down next to the palm and began rummaging through her purse. She found the lip stick she was looking for a smeared it on. “You know I would have been willing to forgive you if you had been honest with me up front.”
“Honest? I stopped trying to be honest with you years ago. It only makes things worse.”
“What does that mean? Are you saying I’m some stuck up bitch, Mark? Are you saying that I don’t understand that you have needs? I have needs to you know. You just seemed to forget that.”
“Needs? Three hours of foreplay and romance? Kind of hard to pull that off when I don’t get home from work until eight O clock at night, Sharon. You’re problem, the problem with women in general, is you want it all; the hard working husband, the money and the hours of cuddling. I may be able to do a lot of things, Sharon, but extending the hours of the day past twenty four is a little out of my reach.”
“I think I have the right to be a little unrealistic once in a while.”
“Are you listening to yourself? You have the right to be unrealistic? Who says crap like that?”
“Yeah, you do,” he sneered.
There was a long pause.
“Was she better than me?”
“Oh god! Are you serious? How am I supposed to answer that? If I say ‘no’ you won’t believe me and if I say ‘yes’ you’ll just get all bent out of shape.”
“No. No I won’t. I am serious. Why her? Why, out of all the women in the world, did you pick my sister? Tell me.”
“Half-sister,” Mark replied.
“Fine! My half-sister. As if that makes it better.”
“I slept with her because she was there; she understood what I was going through. And I have no clue if she was better than you because I couldn’t finish.”
“Yeah. I broke down and started crying. I felt guilty. I felt frustrated. So, I laid there in bed and cried while your half-sister comforted me. It’s all pretty pitiful. I should be pitied not scolded.”
“Oh, trust me I do pity you!”
“Look, Sharon. Life is complicated, you know? Sometimes things get screwed up and you make choices and regret them later. It’s human nature to screw up.”
“Human nature? ‘Man’ nature, you mean. Men are pigs. Everyone knows that. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.”
“Alright. Yeah. We’re all pigs. So, what now?”
Sharon dug her foot into the sand. “I suppose we pick up the pieces and move on.”
“You’re not talking about the ‘D’ word, are you?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.”
“Wait a minute. What are you talking about? What are we talking about? We’re on a freaking deserted island.” Mark picked up a coconut. “Excuse me Mr. Coconut. My wife and I would like to file for divorce. We have all the applicable paper work with us here.”
“Mark! Mark, quit being an asshole. The boat is coming back and when we get home we’ll talk about this. Alright? I’m not saying I want a divorce I’m just saying that something needs to change.”
“What about the kids? How are we going to split them up?”
“Why do we need to? I said I didn’t want a divorce.”
Mark chucked the coconut out into the ocean. “Who said you get to decide? What if I want a divorce? What if I want to run off and get married to your half-sister?”
“You’re a dick! Fine. When we get back…”
“’If’ we get back.”
“’When’ we get back you can file for divorce. But you’re not getting the house.”
“I built that house,” Mark replied.
“I’m pretty sure your brother built it, Mark. All I remember you doing is complaining about your blisters and your fear of insulation.”
“That stuff will give you lung cancer, Sharon. They put the Pink Panther on it so you think it’s safe. It’s not safe.”
“Mark, what’s that on the horizon?”
Mark turned and gazed out the direction Sharon was pointing. “A seagull?”
“It’s not a seagull, Mark. It’s the tour boat looking for us. We need to start a signal fire.”
Sharon was rummaging through her purse again. “I have a lighter. We can start the palm tree on fire.”
“Why do you have a lighter? The last time you had a lighter… Sharon did you start smoking again?”
“You’re lying to me. I can tell when you’re lying.”
“I needed to relieve some stress after I caught you cheating, alright. Now, shut up about it and help me start this tree on fire.”
As the two were bent over trying to light a fire a seagull gracefully landed on the top of the palm tree. It burrowed its beak in its side, digging out a louse. It defecated on the man below and then took off again, flying eastward.
“You’re a freaking genius, Sharon. Give that stupid lighter. I’ll do it.”
“Oh, I see; only men know how to light fires, is that it? You’re such a pig!”
“We’re getting a divorce when we get back. I swear.”