The Royal was established in 1975 back when TIMESHARES were cutting edge. You could own a piece of PARADISE. When you were back home in the dead of winter in your North Dakotian mundane life you could gloss upon the notion that you are an owner of a piece of PARADISE. And when that window of your two weeks rolls around you could get on the big jet plane and go there to your villa and bask in the sun, sand and palm trees. The staff all know you because year after year you go there. It starts to feel very familiar even tho its only two weeks a year. Every year starts to move a little faster and soon you are returning with your grown kids. Then their kids, and then soon the trip is too hard and so you don’t go anymore. Now just the kids and their kids go. But you still see the photos because that is a tradition. To take family photos on the beach every year. They are all hung along the staircase wall so you see them as you climb up and down thin your daily life, in your peripheral vision your subconscious whispers…paradise.
Now its twenty five years later and the Royal is no longer a Time Share Resort. That trend is over. Those families and belief systems of returning to the same place and loyalty are over, passe. Relationships, time investments and family are over. Now it’s all about how much can you get? How much can you consume for as littles as possible, how much land can you cover (more like infiltrate.) All inclusive is where its at. Resorts boasting 18 restaurants, 12 pools, 7 bars, thousands of rooms…all you can EAT, DRINK, FUCK and SHIT. Thats where its at alright.
Back at the Royal Islander the employee’s are haggard. Gone are the glory days when the folks that came down had pride of ownership because yes they owned a little piece of paradise. They knew you, they cared about you. Their hearts loved that you remembered them. It felt good. Since it has had to pen to the public and decrease their rates year after year the level of clientele has diminished. They don’t care, they just want more. More MORE MORE. The dis-ease of More.
I order a diet coke from the waiter Miguel and we chat for a moment. I ask him if he is sad? Sad that the resort is closing, sad for what it has become? Sad for the glory days? HE is. He says yes. He tells us he has worked for this resort for 16 years. It is now becoming an ALL INCLUSIVE. People don’t want to come back to same place, same thing they want MORE. I know that all of the employees have the option to stay on and continue as the Royal Islander closes and transitions to the new BIGGER< BETTER version now going to be called the ROYAL UNO. He says no. He will accept the severance. He doesn’t really have a plan for after he just know he can’t do MORE.
I relate to MORE. I am still suffering from the dis ease of MORE. It is in remission most of the time but I have to treat it. Part of dealing with the disease of MORE is acknowledging you have it, then you can recognize it when it rears its preverbal head. As one of my teachers says, “You cannot fix won’t you don’t acknowledge.” I KNOW this. There is nothing out there that can I put in me that will sustain and last as a long term solution for my happiness and fulfillment. There is only a daily reprieve. I must bow to my humanity every day.
While all around me the world is asking for MORE…