During the two weeks that have elapsed since I last published a word, I have opened a browser, selected new post and sat in front of a white screen for more hours then I can count. Invariably some distraction would arrise, someone to chat with, a phone call, some weak-minded reason or compulsion to open a new window and survey the same tiny corner of the interweb I seem drawn to; and after the perusal of some half-dozen job sites, news outlets, banks I owe money to and gear and clothing vendors I give up on the whole enterprise.
Perhaps a soul possessed by loftier ideals, someone less prosaic might wax poetically about cackling seabirds, about wayward souls whom dimly toil, drink and while away the days here on Midway, or about the passage of time and the human footprint being steadily eroded like this ancient atoll itself into the sea.
But that’s not me, in fact I’m at my wits end. I can officially state that the count down has begun, 25 days until I relinquish my post and return the reins to my predecessor. I have been asked repeatedly by both my current employer and the island residents if I will be returning for another rotation and I have given a polite yet firm no. While I am pleased to have left a favorable impression and hope that I have represented the company and my profession well I will not be back.
The feathery denizens may launch their careers as great pelagic aviators on this desolate island, but for men it is a place for careers to end rather than to begin. There is no need, no desire I can fulfill nor benefit I can reap professionally or personally by further tenure as the perfunctory medical authority here on Midway.
I have enjoyed my experience here, to a point, and will certainly take away those lessons learned, but I would be delusional to think that additional learning could occur in this environment, rather I expect only further frustration, which I will gladly cede.
As I wind down my stint, begin packing my bags, already thinking of home and the next adventure, there still remains the possibility of crisis or the next melee. As the motliest crew of roughnecks I have yet to see here stepped off the plane only last week and the visitors continue to arrive twice weekly, eighteen at a time, the stage is set for catastrophe.
I’ll keep you posted.