I wrote the story How to Lose a Wife in 2 Days, during and following my two-year stint—2010 – 2012—as a bartender in the Caribbean.
I learnt about ‘social practices’ of the world while bar-tending on the other side of the globe, that were completely new to me; things I’d heard about or seen in films, but never really digested, until I saw them happening live.
One of these elements, was the ongoing ritual of married women, who came to the Caribbean for a premeditated fling. I’m more than positive that men do this as well, and on rare occasions while working the bar, I would see a much older man with a very attractive, young Hispanic woman. Nevertheless, the married women were highlighted to me by both my female co-workers and the local men who boasted to me about the ‘food’ they were eating.
Yes, ‘food,’ they were eating; many island locals would advise me like a teacher telling a student – eat your food, wipe your mouth, and pass the food to the next man; all this in reference to women they were seeing. And yes, every person I’ve told this little titbit, has either laughed or turned away in disgust.
I admit—perhaps revealing my naivety—that I was surprised about this practice. The married women would fly in—mainly hailing from the States—once, twice, or three times a year, and see their Caribbean lover.
One particular conversation—which was more of a listening and patience exercise–stands out in my mind.
As I wiped the bar clean of sand and drink spillages, one of the local ‘land-sharks’—as a lot of British and American female expats would call them—came up to my bar. He was a regular patron of the establishment, deemed a ‘land-shark’ because he filled his days and nights, strolling up and down the beaches, hunting Caucasian female holiday-goers.
Ordering his Coors Light, he began telling me about a married couple he was chaperoning around the islands.
He relayed how the woman had revealed to him in the most blatant way—and I will leave this to your imagination—that she was looking for a ‘bit on the side.’
I nodded at his story, forced a tight-lipped smile, and continued organising the bar.
He carried on talking about the great season he’d experienced that year with many women, young and old. It must have been my silence that finally made him realise I wasn’t impressed, as he got up, and walked back to the beach.
In those two years, I’d be introduced to a brand new system of play, and it’s witnessing and living in the environment, that prompted me to write this short story.
I hope you enjoy it and that it doesn’t scare to many men out there…
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