Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We Don't Get Seasick

Somewhere off the coast of Italy, a band played a Rumba. The lights were low and the night was young. We decided to dance. One two three, turn turn...stumble. We resumed the hold and tried again. One, two, three, turn, turn, turn. Forward, back, holy shit! I stepped into thin air. Husband caught me mid fall. The damn floor was moving....a lot.

The drummer no longer had reliable contact with his snare so the band took a break. Back at the bar, our drinks were skidding to and fro. People were turning green and heading for the exit. The bartender was busy battening down stemware, so we caught our roving drinks and called it a night.

I stood on our balcony looking out onto the pitch black sea. The ship lurched. I gripped the railing so hard, my knuckles turned white. A crisp wind whipped the hair from my face. Waves beat the ship, drowning out the engines' rumble. The spray was heavy with the taste of Mediterranean salt. The ship rolled and heaved. Husband called for me. I heard the words force 10 before a gust of wind snatched his words away. Ignoring him, I braced myself against the divider.
I went on that trip to experience first hand what I had only seen on TV. And here was a perfect, once in a lifetime opportunity. Like an adrenaline junky, I wanted to soak up every moment of that storm. Wet and chilled, I took a deep breath and held on for the ride. It was exhilarating.

A lightening bolt lit up the sky as clear as day. At first I didn't fully comprehend what was there. Cresting, slapping peaks of sea, sprayed my face as I craned my neck to get a better look. In almost superstitious fashion, lightning flashed like a strobe, again and again and again and again. Then I saw it, clear as high-noon. A massive wall of sea water towering above the ship. It was huge. Undulating like a living thing it hung there, threatening to break. I felt like a minnow staring straight into the maw of a shark. It scared the ever living hell out of me.

I flew into our suite like a bat out of hell. The rain hit with a vengeance as I snapped the lock in place. I stood there paralyzed, peering into utter blackness, waiting for a crash that never came. Walls of water were still out there cloaked in the night. To see them, I was at the mercy of a fickle bolt of lightening that never lasted long enough. Unnerved, I pondered the sailors of old in their wooden sailing ships. How they must have felt navigating a storm like that, tied to a mast or huddled in a dark, cold, leaky hold.

Husband asked if I had enough of the great outdoors. "Yes," I replied, leaving the sea to its own devices. Room service tapped lightly at the door. Hot tea and cookies had arrived.

1 comment:

Dade said...

Excellent post! I surely would have puked in similar circumstances. I'd love to hear more about your travels...