I was a wreck, so I took a cruise.
This is me two weeks ago.
I don’t look all that much better now but I feel better.
Cruising today isn’t like cruising 100 years ago when wealthy wasp-waisted women dressed for dinner in their rustling silks, and their gents came in white-tie-and-tails. Today, for as little as $500, anyone can revel in a week of total spoiling, and far from the chill Atlantic to boot, moseying instead among the sapphire-tinted harbors of the Caribbean.
During this whole cruise I took I kept thinking, Well here we all are, waddling about in our scanty beachwear consuming literal tons of food at the almost-continuous all-you-can-eat buffets; shopping obsessively, both on ship and shore; and gambling day and night in the jingling casino spaces you can’t cross the 5th deck without having to walk through. No wonder much of the world finds us laughable. We’re a boatload of Baby Hueys, I kept thinking, getting fed and fussed over, having our pants changed, practically, by a vast staff of people 95% from developing countries.
But hey: why be negative? Basically it’s AWESOME to be on a cruise. Awesome to see how many ladies for example, succumb to getting their hair lashed down in the tiny island-style braids that unless you have the face of an angel and a noggin to match, make you look like ET.
Awesome to notice how middle-schoolers find each other so unerringly on a cruise, making friends fast and moving in packs around the ship, the girls shrieking “Omigod!” every five minutes and the boys bellowing “Dude!”
It’s even fun waiting in line for the iron in the laundry room, with the dozen others trying to gussy up for the big Captain’s Reception. It feels like a college dorm then, or a real friendly apartment building. The whole experience feels like a big sleepover we were all having.
But the best fun on a cruise is what you notice the first night out and that is this: when you lie in your bed, the bed moves.
All night long it moves, and you sleep rocked like an infant, dreaming lovely long dreams with complicated plots and sub-plots. And even later, the boat docked and the cruise long over, when you sleep once again in your own bed, you can still feel it: that something much larger is holding you and you, great baby, are just along for the ride.
Show me a nicer sight that this eh?
Now picture yourself with your eyes closed , on bed in your cabin, face down and clinging lightly to the bedding, as a baby chimp clings to its momma’s fur as she swings slow and easy through the treetops.
That to me is the best part of the whole deal.