The tour guide breaks down the route for us in agonizing detail. The kayak paddle across the bay to the island sounds manageable; a bit challenging but nothing horrendous. Then there is the matter of getting up onto the island, scaling the 20 feet of rock cliffs to arrive at the base of the hotel/lodge that looks back toward the mainland. This leg of the journey goes just as he describes it. The tour guide’s instructions would have us slip out a back door of the lodge and begin the next portion of the trek by tromping through the overgrown grounds. Security (however) is much tighter than expected; patrols stalk up and down the halls and the conference room/dining hall is filled nearly to capacity with the island’s elderly residents. They have long since otherwise abandoned their homes and congregated here. The whispered stories all suggest that there are many reason to keep off of the island.
Eventually we find a way to break through and match up the lands with our guide’s instructions as best we can. The hotel grounds are overgrown with tall grasses and weeds just like he said. We push through this for most of a day’s walk and continue up a steep hill. The steep hike turns to scrambling and climbing; just over the crest of this hill we should find it — and then we do: the stiff white spire of the lighthouse.
We rest briefly before going in. Once inside though, the lighthouse falls away. Inside becomes sterile metal bulkheads and tunnels. The gravity gives way and I find myself in some kind of circular spaceship. The fore is wide and large, roomlike; as the tunnels circle back toward the aft, it gets narrower. One brother (S.) is up in the front; he does not have much to say and we do our best to adjust to the alternating gravity and zero-gravity. I ask him about the circular shape of the ship and he says only that it’s for circulation; I cannot tell if he is trying to inject a pun or not. He mentions that my other brother (J.) has been working in the back. I circle around to look for him; the halls get narrower and tighter. As I approach the opposite end, the tunnel has become like an intestine, narrow and cramped and convoluted. I feel as if I am trapped and fear that (having “swum” back here) that if gravity were to come back, I might never escape again.