No man is an island

Humans are social animals. We simply weren’t meant to live alone for long periods of time. Arctic explorers who spend years without human company describe a deep loneliness that never quite fades, even after they reach civilization. Or look at the movie Cast Away: Tom Hanks washes up on an island, and within a few days, he’s talking to a volleyball, because a volleyball is better than nothing.
In many ways, we’re even defined by the people we spend time with. It’s often said that we become the average of our five closest friends. Life isn’t some Rube Goldberg machine that sends a marble spinning through a maze without ever changing the marble itself. Life is a journey – the longest journey of all. And what’s a journey without travel companions?
We must let other people into our hearts if we are to live as nature intended. In short, no man is an island.


This corpse I’m clinging to so I don’t drown is an island

That was all very high-minded, Kevin. If you’d told me all that yesterday, I’d have believed you. Most people have good reason to believe that men and islands are different things.
Most people also don’t have idiotic yacht-owning friends who insist on sailing during a thunderstorm. On a boat whose navigation system isn’t set up yet. So they may not have had the chance to see things from my perspective.
From my perspective, the last scraps of the S. S. Kevin have long since been swept out to sea. I’m going to have to live alone for as long as it takes for the Coast Guard to find me. And, unlike Tom Hanks, I don’t have a sandy beach, coconut trees. Or the fucking volleyball.
Instead, I have a few planks of wood, a coil of rope, and the body of my good friend Kevin. On the one hand, he smells worse than a volleyball. On the other hand, he already has a face, so I don’t have to draw one on with a marker.
Plus, he’s by far the biggest floating object left in my stretch of the ocean. He’s not bleeding at all, so I don’t have to worry about sharks. Instead, I get to sit here, catching fish with my bare hands, sleeping under the stars, and enjoying life on Kevin Island.
It sure is convenient that I killed him before the boat sank.

—A. Gertler