Outside on the small deck of the Isle de Veau, Jack squinted into the concrete gray sky as he cranked open a half-dozen blue Cinzano umbrellas, in case anyone actually showed up for lunch in this lousy weather. Three-foot waves gnawed at the beach in the distance, the wind occasionally carrying spray through angled palms all the way to his tan, tired face. It dampened the faded tee that hung loosely off his frame, and his cargo shorts, and his mood. Little electric Japanese lanterns strung around the deck arbor had twisted up tight, hanging themselves in their cords, the relentless wind shifting their vibe from island chic to bleak. The whole island felt like that to Jack these days, like paradise lost. Just a photo in a glossy brochure faded to light blue after sitting too long in the window of a travel agency in some snowy New England town.
Every morning he’d see crusty old retirees who’d responded to brochures like that, pensioned dinosaurs plodding along the beach on crunchy knees, bracing their backs with one hand to stoop and pick up shells with the other, artifacts they mailed to grandchildren back home. Under floppy cotton hats, their thin, hoary hair was whipped by the wind against cocoa wrinkles. Where did they get those ridiculous faux Hawaiian shirts, stretch pants and giant sunglasses, he wondered, what were they thinking? He devised a name for their geezer ensembles, and reminded himself to see if it’d get a laugh out of Car when she arrived at the Isle for dinner that night: Last Resort Wear.
Shipwrecked on the Isle de Veau, Chapter 1