Things Followed By Good Things On The Jamaica
by Doug Hawley
In 1995 I had
a vision or daydream or a hallucination, Im
not sure which. My whatever-it-was was that
in 18 years a woman would get fame and fortune
from writing a book about how she suffered
tragedy, took dope and on an impulse hiked a
trail poorly prepared, but survived the ordeal to
write a best seller about the experience and get
remarried in her hip new hometown.
At first I thought the whatever-it-was could be
the basis of a Stephen King type sci-fi or horror
novel. Id have it happen under a dome.
On further thought, it was too crazy even
for Stephen King. Instead, Id be the
woman with the tragedy, the dope, the hike and
the gold at the end.
My first hurdle was coming up with a tragedy.
Unfortunately, everyone I knew including myself
was in great shape. It was too late to get
anyone to start smoking and ruin his or her
health. The best I could come up with was
losing TV privileges when I was 16.
As Saul and I were having boring married sex, it
occurred to me that we could have a horrible
break-up that would leave me devastated.
When I suggested it to Saul, he was horrified.
But, Meryl we love each other. There
isnt anything that could separate us.
I countered with an offer of 30% of book
royalties and 25% of ancillary income, both off
the front end. Saul said OK but I
want to do the talk shows with you and my new
wife and your new husband. It was a
deal that I could live with.
Then I asked Saul the hardest question Saul
dear, could you fool around some before the
divorce to cause my depression?
Meryl, do these have to be new girlfriends
or old girlfriends? Any particular race or
size? At this point I knew that I had
Before my divorce I kissed at least a hundred men
and some women. I had the kissing
concession at the fund raiser for the Acting
Lessons For Reese Witherspoon foundation.
Those that were good kissers and promised me
drinks later got a little more action. One
guy got to third base, but double dribbled.
Sorry, Im no good at sports metaphors.
When my divorce was final, I changed my name to
Meryl Hemmingway so I would be known as a serious
I must say that I was prepared for a physical
ordeal, or so I thought. Wasnt I the
one who always brought in the newspaper?
After talking to my friend Misa who lives in
Lincoln, I decided to do the Jamaica North trail
which starts there. Even though Id
never been that far away from Omaha before, my
tragic breakup called for a major expedition to
get over it. I thoroughly researched what I
would need to make it all the way from end to end,
and drove to Lincoln.
The night before the hike I was having a tuna
sandwich at Jacks Coffee House when Moe
came in. He was a classic bad boy with
scruffy hair, scruffy clothes and scruffy teeth.
He came directly over to my table and said Lets
go to my place and get wasted. How
could I resist? It was a night of pot and
The next evening I started on the defining event
of my life. I had to suffer through mildly
rolling hills and occasional loose dirt, but
after an exhausting beginning, I found out that Id
been wearing stiletto heels. That must have
been some good sh_t because I was really buzzed.
After I traded my f___ me pumps for the boots in
my crazy heavy ten pound pack, I was much better.
At milepost three I encountered rabbit hunters
with mismatched clothes. I was terrified.
A little way down the trail I discovered a small
festival. The multi-instrumentalist sent
cold shivers all over me, which, when mixed with
my overheated state from hiking, left me rather
comfortable. He got the idea when I went
over and rubbed his drumsticks.
We went over beyond some shrubs. Use your
imagination; I dont have to do all the work
for you. After that I had a pizza and a few
beers from the concession.
Later I set up my tent for my first night out.
I was so exhausted, I slept for fifteen hours.
After the beastly hot 70 degrees of the first day,
the second day it drizzled.
I had my Milky Way bar for lunch and launched my
bruised and beaten body onwards. About 3 Oclock
I was finally done. I had copious notes and
pictures on my smart phone from my quest, and a
new life. I look much older in the photos because
of my trauma and lack of an aesthetician on the
trail. I had cataloged all of the helpful, weird,
evil, tall, fat, and Estonian people I had met
along the way. My triumph was worth all of
the blisters, the scraped knee, the sunburn, and
the multiple orgasms I had experienced.
Back in Lincoln, after a lot of immoral but
enjoyable fooling around, I met one of the only
local film makers and we fell in love and got
In 2012 I found out that my whatever-it-was was
off by a year. Someone else had a best
seller with a similar book and a similar title.
That author changed her last name to Straight,
what she didnt want anyone to think that
she was lesbian? Even though I was
too late, I wrote my book in 2013 and did get on
local TV and was interviewed by Jason Akins.
The book was not a big seller, but with my
husband Ryan I did several minor motion pictures
based loosely on my events from my adventure:
Lust On The Trail, Lesbian Lust
On The Trail, Hiking Hooker and
Milepost Sex. Check the Cinemax
schedule for showings.
I think that Milepost Sex is the one
Ill be remembered for.
previously appeared in Dirty Pool and a shorter
version in Potluck