As I was cruising on the island earlier today I saw the old 7/11 all boarded up and it broke my heart a little bit. That place was an institution for years. That place saw every island person imaginable: kids with sandy feet, angry New York moms loading up on Marlboros on their way to smoke and yell on the beach, some of the most hungover people on Earth in desperate need of a Gatorade, fisherman at 4am, drunk people at 2am who don’t want to wait on the lines at Wawa.
And that is where our story begins today.
Driving past that 7/11 I couldn’t help but think back on my weirdest night involving that place. I had spent the better part of that day bouncing around the island, at random bars and parties with some friends. Towards the end of the night I had made a lady friend who for some reason wanted to go home with me.
Maybe she wanted to rob me or something.
Anyway, we get in the taxi to go back to the house, and by this point I’m pretty banged up and in dire need of food.
“Dude.” I said to the taxi driver, “We gotta get food. I’m positive I have nothing in my house besides booze, I need some food, can we please stop somewhere?”
“Nah man, I’ve got too many pickups- I don’t have the time.”
“I’ll throw you a twenty dollar tip, please?”
“Too busy man, sorry.”
“Two twenties, and I won’t complain the whole way. You know I’ll be relentless, we’ve been through this song and dance before.”
Which was true- this wasn’t my first time getting hungry in his taxi.
“Fine, but not Wawa- you’ll be in there for twenty minutes waiting for your sandwich.”
“7/11 is perfect.” I replied.
“Eww.” She spoke up, “I’m not eating a microwaved burrito.”
Oh now she’s got standards all of a sudden?
“That’s fine.” I told her, “They have these taquito things on the rollers- it’s a life changing snack.”
I run inside, grab a half dozen buffalo chicken taquitos, two Gatorades, and a sugar free Red Bull. I get back in the taxi.
“No eating in the van Steve.”
“What the fuck did I say?”
“It’s fine we’re almost done.”
“These actually aren’t terrible.” She said as she reached for her second one.
“I know right!”
We get back to the house, have a few more drinks before we went up to my room to check each other for ticks.
I’m awoken a few short hours later with some of the worst stomach pain of my life. I could feel the sweat on my face and body. I sat up, knowing something bad was going to happen in a few seconds. I look over at my friend, and she’s wide eyed with sweat on her face too.
“Hey, so uhm, I have to use the bathroom. There is also a bathroom downstairs- if you have to pee or anything while I’m in the bathroom up here- it is very private down there- my roommate is in Philly visiting his girlfriend. I gotta go now though.”
I walked swiftly into the bathroom that was only a few feet away. I quick turned on the sink- to try and out volume what I knew what was about to happen.
Even with the water running on full blast- I could hear little steps running down the stairs.
As I sat there bashing the flusher all I could think about was this poor girl. Just trying to have fun with some tall hunk, and she ends up with a full case of the squirts. And not even the fun kind.
About 40 minutes later I made my way back to bed. She was still downstairs doing work- so I sparked up a joint in hopes that she’d be up in a few minutes and want to partake.
That never happened though. I eventually made my way downstairs- hoping there wasn’t a dead girl on my toilet, sitting there like little miss Elvis.
Bathroom door was wide open- which was unfortunate for the first floor of my house. So I walked into the kitchen to see if she was grabbing a water or something. No one there either. I opened a few windows.
By this point it’s about 6am. I go back upstairs- because in my stoned stupor I thought maybe we passed like ships in the night. She’s not there either. But there is one woman’s Vans shoe. Just sitting there. I sat there for a few minutes dumbfounded before I went back downstairs and outside to see if she’s sitting on the porch waiting for a ride.
Not there either.
High and confused, I go back upstairs.
Still no girl.
But there is still a shoe.
I go outback to make sure she’s not sitting by the water.
Not there either.
This girl was in such a hurry to leave the abomination she did in my downstairs bathroom- that she left with only one shoe on.
We never exchanged numbers or anything- so I had no way to reach out to her.
I ended up leaving the shoe in my closet hoping that one day I’d run into her and we’d laugh about the whole ordeal. I eventually threw it out when I moved, but I’ll forever remain curious about this shoeless Ho Jackson.
Rest in peace Ship Bottom 7/11. Thank you for providing me the slushees that I added way too much rum and vodka into as a kid. I’ll miss you forever.