Two days after he and his scratched-up fibreglass boat washed up on Ebon Atoll, there are no still no photographs of Mexican mariner Jose Ivan.
By his own account, Ivan was blown 8000 miles across the Pacific having set out from Mexico in September 2012, originally making for El Salvador. He survived 16 months afloat by catching fish and turtles with his bare hands, eating them raw and drinking turtle blood when there was no rain.
Not much bigger than a big boat, the outcrop of land he landed on is lower in the water than a passenger liner. There isn’t a phone signal, and the plane that flies in once a week is temporarily out action. Hence Ivan’s image is currently unavailable.
Having found him on the beach in a pair of raggedy underpants, his rescuers are resting and re-hydrating him in relative isolation. Without a selfie to upload – ‘this is me as Robinson Crusoe’ – his story makes mere radio instead of holding the front page.
Sixteen months of blue. Blue sky, blue sea, blue-sea-sky-blue. Like living in a Rothko.
Against that relentless background, memory and fantasy must have thickened. Clotted as closing-time conversation. Matted like your overgrown beard. Then died away, leaving days and days and days of dumb survival.
While you were surviving: an American president re-elected; civil war continues in Syria; London living off Olympic glory, slowly fading. The world which takes you back is little different from the one you accidentally left behind.
The dumb world you’ve come back to, has been adrift for some time.