Birth of a Sea Gypsy
When Fatty passes Wild Card’s tiller to her new owner, he discovers that his trusty vessel has fallen into just the right set of hands.
|With a new boat comes many new chores, as Carolyn will attest as she stiches up a new mainsail cover.|
He lives freely until, at the age of 12, his Tarot-card dealing mother drops him off with an “aunt.”
Suddenly, the music stops. The aunt wants him to go to school, which he does, but only to be yelled at. Nothing makes sense. His horizon is shrinking. He feels stifled. To compensate, he lifts weights. By 15, he’s buff. He also studies kick-boxing and various other martial arts.
But he needs money as well as muscles, so he borrows some weights and exercise equipment and opens his own gym. By 17, he opens a soon-to-be-popular bar with the gym earnings.
“The bar is still going strong 20 years later,” Robin says with a grin. “With mostly the same cliental!”
Robin now knows what he wants to do: He wants to be a successful business entrepreneur in America. First, though, he has to conquer Europe. With a fistful of cash, he sticks out his thumb and leaves his homeland and tours the European Union, hustling for money at the oddest of jobs. Finally, he washes ashore in New York, only to have his life savings ripped off on the second day in the Big Apple.
“I was young and too trusting,” Robin notes. “And she was very beautiful!”
With no English, no papers, and lots of muscles, the only jobs he can get are dangerous ones.
“On my first morning at work, the second customer we buzz into the pawn shop pulls out a huge gun, sticks it into my face, and starts yelling. I don’t know what he’s yelling, but the gun makes me nervous. I take it away from him, and the robber is suddenly contrite and jovial, claiming he was only attempting to show me how threatening the gun could be. He said he was only trying to sell it.”
The first day was also his last day guarding the doomed pawn shop.
“That same afternoon,” Robin says, “another guy comes in with a gun. A friend of mine is chatting with the owner, and they both see the kid with the gun at the same time. They whip out their pieces and start shooting up the place like a bad movie! I’m chasing the kid, who slips and drops his gun. But he is as fast as a rabbit. I wait until my friend and the owner have to stop and reload, then toss the kid out on the street before they can kill him. End of job.”
In America, Robin has a number of muscle jobs, many of which are confusing. Who are the good guys and the bad guys? Robin doesn’t know. So he decides that when he relieves some fellow of his gun, he doesn’t toss it or keep it, just disassembles it and scatters the parts over a wide area.
“I am learning, how you put it—the American Way?” says Robin.