Charleston After All

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Jun 302015
 

CAM00107So what do you know, we stayed after all, but barely.

For a month we had been at anchor, or “on the hook”, as a sailor calls it. The little inflatable dinghy and five horsepower motor served proudly as our “car”, ferrying us back and fourth between Distant Drum and St. John’s Yacht Harbor for endlessly hot showers. Sarah hoop-danced under the Stono River bridge each day while I worked on the boat and explored it workings. She earned a few dollars each day by doing paid writing gigs online. Each Saturday we put on our hiking backpacks and walked about two miles up the busy desolate highway to a Food Lion supermarket.

A sailboat this size was meant for movement, not stationary life. The cramped quarters left us hating each other at times, but never for long. I did think she was about to jump overboard and leave one day when I got air in the fuel line. She wasn’t holding the flashlight right.

By the end of May we’d come up with a plan, to slowly cruise up the east coast to Maine during the rest of the summer. All the necessary equipment had been ordered online and installed aboard;. A mobile router provided Internet access. Power was provided by a 100-watt solar panel connected to a deep-cycle battery. For a few hours each day while I was piloting the boat, Sarah would be down below earning $100 per week online.

We were going to leave on Monday, June 1st. The day before that we walked up the highway for one final supermarket trip. It was somewhere in the produce department near the mushrooms when the store manager Tom approached.

“Are you still looking for a job?”

Just six weeks previously I’d turned down a good job offer as a meat cutter here. My job as an electrician’s assistant had paid nearly as much, and I enjoyed learning a new skill.

“Seriously?”, I replied, unable to believe I was hearing this the very day before we planned on leaving. Sure enough, the lights in the meat department were turned off at this late-morning hour. The new meat cutter had taken the whole Memorial Day weekend off, no call, no show. By the end of the day I had a phone call, the job was indeed mine.

I hadn’t been looking for another job, but I couldn’t ignore the universe. It wanted us to have more cryptocurrency.

As it turns out, this little supermarket is about the most civilized place I’ve ever worked. I should have taken the job the first time it was offered. Some things never change, like penny-wise-dollar-stupid international congolmerates drastically shorting their stores of hours. But it is possible to fight back against the corrosive affects of over-centralization. In one month I’ve found a peace in this store that I couldn’t find for a whole year working my last supermarket job in Tucson.

And so we’ll be sticking around for a while. A new toilet and generator has made life on the boat much more bearable for Sarah. A small air-conditioner keeps her relatively cool on the 100-degree days, of which we recently had a week-long stretch. Only near the equator have I ever felt such heavy air. We are making arrangements with the marina to continue using the facilities while remaining at anchor. This means that nearly all of our income goes directly into cryptocurrency.

If Joe Biden will keep his ass off our bridge then we’ll do just fine. If local cops will quit trying to play federal agent then we’ll do just fine. Washington, stay the fuck out of Charleston for the next year. And to everybody here who played nice with the Nazis last Sunday, why don’t you just move to Washington and become their permanent bitches. You can all go up into the mushroom cloud together. You’ve earned it.

Down with centralization.

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