The Cruise

 

2 grams of $40 live resin 

Sour Apple or Wedding Cake, 7 (50) mg lollipops any flavor, $10 preroll of Unglued, Sour gummies 

 

Day 1: December 25

We got parking on the way to the airport from a third party called “Lost Your Way No Way Back?”. The parking was at the Rodeway Inn near Boston Logan airport. When we arrived, the tiny parking lot was completely full. We decided to go in because my companion, Jim,  had to use the bathroom. We knew parking was a lost cause. Yet, we figured we would notify the front desk person of our issue. We walked inside the hotel.

The scene was calm. There was a younger female working, sitting behind the front desk. She had curly hair tied back.  She had a kind look in her eyes. She looked to be in her late teens or early 20s. She was hispanic. 

Jim asked where the bathroom was and she pointed him to it. There was another woman in the lobby as well. She was pretty. Thin, well dressed, in a white blouse and blue jeans. She was wearing well placed jewelry with designer luggage. I guessed her age range to be anywhere from 45 to 55.  Nothing about her was an accident. 

She didn’t look upset or in a hurry. I wasn’t in tune to her emotional state as I was trying to navigate talking with the front desk girl. I wasn’t sure if the pretty older woman was trying to check in or check out, she was standing somewhat near the front desk. The front desk girl smiled at me and told me she could help me. The pretty woman stepped aside. I walked up to the front desk. I said,  “We had a parking reservation”. 

The front desk girl responded in a calm voice, “We no longer have any available spots. The third party reservations were booked without our knowledge. There is a park and fly about a mile away that has availability, you can go there. I can give you the address and phone number.”

 I said thank you and stepped aside to call the parking and ride. All the while Jim had come out of the bathroom. I told him the situation. I called to confirm there was parking at the park and fly and the lady that answered immediately said, ‘there’s plenty, come on down.” I decided to fill my water with the infused lemon water at the hotel. As I was filling it I saw two policemen enter. I thought, Oh no, what did we do now? They walked authoritatively into the lobby area  and asked what the problem was.

The pretty blonde woman started to explain, ‘You see, I made a reservation through a third party for a parking spot here. When I arrived, there were no parking spaces available.” Calmly in a soft irritated voice she said, “I have a flight to London tonight and I reserved a spot here. So I own a spot here and this lady,” as she points at the front desk girl, “is telling me otherwise.” The police said, “Well Ma’am, you are entirely correct. You own a spot here and you have a flight to London. The front desk girl will simply call a tow truck service and have one of the cars removed. Then, she will give you a ride to the airport in a Limousine. For all your troubles, you will receive a back massage and a voucher for free parking for the rest of your life. While you wait, the front desk woman will give you a foot rub”. The pretty woman nodded, taking this all in.  “Very, very, well. But I think this girl should be punished, (pointing again to the front desk girl), no? She suggested someone else have MY SPOT. The policemen take a minute and look at each other. “But of course, Madame. We will arrest her after she returns from the airport and she will be put in jail. Until she can make bail or her court date.” “Very well then,” said the white woman in the white blouse with her perfect hair and face. The white woman made her flight to London and the hispanic front desk clerk made her way to jail. The perfect white woman lived happily ever after. The hispanic girl spent her life in prison.   

We made it to the airport in a matter of minutes with parking and the shuttle after we left the Rodeway Inn. 

As we were in the airport I told my companion about a dream I had the previous evening. In my dream, a rich white woman had promised a fancy apartment if I climbed to the top of a tall building and then, on top of a thin spire. I was required to sit there all day. In the dream I was Carlos, an engineer we work with that lives in Milwaukee. I completed sitting on top of the spire and on my way home I saw a group of men cyclists wearing gold sequin jackets riding in a line all together. 

Later on, we boarded Spirit Airlines. There was a family coughing behind us, a baby crying, and a big dog sitting on someone’s lap. Jim said, “Wow if you want a boost to your immune system Spirit Airlines is the way to go.” We landed and got an Uber from a driver named Carlos to our hotel. 

When we checked in the front desk lady seemed disappointed that we wanted double beds. 

 

Miami

pink floral soft

still a lot of phones everywhere

purple, soft peach, shiny skin

rhinestones sparkling in the rain drops

vibrant green and blue life feels a pulse

year round. A couple struggles to get the 

right self for Instagram.This pose will get them x 

amount of likes so who cares how silly they 

look in front of 50 people watching them look

silly. When they aren’t on instagram they look like lost

puppies. Nothing to say, red nails picking with anxiety. What will my 

next picture be?

 

We decided to walk to the port. We walked through a large outdoor mall where restaurants served oversized margaritas. We walked over a large bridge. It was hot out and there was no easy way there. We didn’t know exactly which port to go to but we figured it out eventually. Once we got there I realized that I would have to go through security with all of the weed items I had procured for Dan (see order at beginning of essay). Thankfully, security did not seem to be concerned with this and I made it through safely. Line after line it was to get on the boat. There were different systems of lines. There were lines you just waited in. Then, you were given numbers to wait in lines and called to wait in more lines. Finally, we got on the boat. My companion and I separated to find our rooms. I was sharing a room with Dan, the one I got all of the THC items for.

 I found my room after walking through long hallways. I walked in and my companion was standing there. The first thing I noticed was the single queen bed in the middle of the room. I asked for two beds? Dan said, “So our other two colleagues (both men and heterosexual) are sharing a bed?” We decided that we would push the beds apart ourselves. I was anxious to enjoy something about this experience so I suggested we go outside and check out our surroundings. Dan had already done so, meeting a guy that shared a joint with him. I put on my swimming suit and we ventured out. The hallways had shag carpeting with kaleidoscope designs on it. Vibrant colors. When you walked down the hallway if you walked in a straight line you felt like you were walking in a maze. 

At first walking on the ship it felt as though I would never get the knack of the layout or design. I kept explaining how big of a boat this was to Dan. He said, “A boat is a derogatory term for this. It’s a ship.” We wandered out onto the upper deck. Dan went to smoke a cigarette and I found my way to the hot tub. It was completely empty. People were still boarding the ship. I bought a pina colada and got in. It was raining softly outside. 

There were periodic announcements one of them being that there would be a mandatory safety briefing at five. I didn’t take it too seriously thinking that I’d be able to avoid anything mandatory. After I got out of the hot tub we hung out awhile, drinking and smoking on the deck. The mandatory announcements kept on happening and workers on the ship started to corral people to certain areas. The one thing about a boat is that there is nowhere to hide. We realized we would have to go to the safety briefing. They organized everybody by what section of the ship they were staying on. We stood awkwardly after checking our names off a list with someone. We waited about fifteen minutes. Then we were lined up and taken into a theater. Upon entering we were told to sit, and again waited for about fifteen minutes. Workers there told people that they were not allowed on their phones. 

At this point I was very high, I had eaten an edible earlier. I was determined to get rid of everything so I wouldn’t have to fly or go back through security with it again.  The THC hit me so hard that I was paranoid. I was paranoid that they had randomly picked this group of people. I imagined that they were really going to gas us and this would be the end. I would die on a novelty cruise ship sipping on a pina colada. I didn’t share my feelings with Dan. He had fallen asleep waiting for the safety briefing. Finally it began. Two guys got up on stage and explained how to put on a life jacket. I swore that I heard there were only 75 lifejackets on board and 200 lifeboats. Dan had awoken and was audibly pissed off. I could hear him grumbling, “This is what they consider a safety briefing?” They also showed us a whistle and some reflective tape. Once they were done explaining how to put a lifejacket on, we were allowed to leave. It took about fifteen minutes for everyone to depart in the long, useless lines of people. The ship was now moving forward. 

We decided to meet at the sushi restaurant that evening. The service was very slow. While we were waiting for our unnecessary amount of food a large group of people had formed in the area next to us. After awhile I heard them begin to introduce themselves. I asked the waiter what was going on. He explained to me that it was the solo travellers group. I managed to hear several of the intros. 

The first guy I heard was an office space organizer for the Senate. He exclaimed proudly that he had negotiated for office space with 100 Senators. He described the metapolitics involved with his job. He looked about 90 years old drinking a cosmopolitan. He told the group that his daughter was in Springfield. He was from New York but lives in D.C.  He said, “I took time off and I want it to be on the beach.”

The next person introduced herself as Christine from Nebraska. She was a doctor and here with her family. She took her family on the cruise because they are retired. She still works and is not retired, she said. She came to the meeting because she wants to meet people.

The next person was a girl from Ukraine. She was wearing high heels and a black velvet dress. She started her introduction by saying that she thinks that everyone who works on the boat is trying to escape reality. 

We ordered everything on the appetizer menu. After we finished with that we ordered several items, rolls, sashimi, things that I would never dream of ordering in reality. A cruise is not reality. A different set of rules apply on the water. It is quite similar to flying. People are stuck on a vessel with no way out other than death most likely. The staff want to ensure that people don’t die. So they stuff them with food and as many distractions as they possibly can. The food is non stop. There was a buffet open at nearly all waking hours. The workers are dressed  in seemingly white uniforms. They seem to lazily help, there is no rush here. The point is to draw out each experience so the customer doesn’t have as much time to ponder why the hell they are stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean. I wondered what the workers thought of people, ordering meal after meal, gorging on food. Some of these people come from impoverished places most likely and it must have been an eye opener on how much waste is created in the United States. 

After the buffet we decided to take a dip in the hot tub. The waters were rough that evening and the hot tub water was flying all over the deck. It worked in our favor as it soon emptied from the family that was out there. We sat under the stars with the hot splashing water all around us. Dan spoke of how when he was in the middle of the ocean as a Marine he was amazed at how much the sky would move in the middle of the night. 

 

Day 2

I got up and went to get breakfast early. I had not slept well with the noises and movement of the boat. Dan was a night owl as well and had been out late, waking me up when he came back into our tiny room with now separated beds. I took a seat to see the sun rising over the ocean. It was a spectacular site. There were two couples sitting nearby. Both couples looked to be in their forties. They were dressed in what looked like designer resort wear. The women had blonde hair, and the men looked like they were trying to be athletic but liked beer and chicken wings a little bit more. 

The man in one couple said, “We are from Austin but living in Cincinnati. Are you from New York?” 

“No, responded the woman in the other couple in her southern accent.  “We are from Knoxville.” 

“Oh,” said the man, slightly disappointed. We thought maybe you’re from Texas and live in New York. We always wished we would have lived there. This is the smallest ship we’ve ever been on”  the man continued on. 

“Is that a good or bad thing?” the wife of the other couple asked with genuine interest. 

“We did Disney last year, the last ship we were on had 6000 people,” was the husband’s response. 

The fruit that morning tasted a little bit like fish. 

I went to find a place to sit but found pretty quickly that there were zero to none spots. Today would be a full day on the ship. Everyone puts their towel done on the chairs near the pool so if you don’t get a spot early you are out of luck.The sun is shining in my eyes and I hope today that Dan or Jim will enter the sexy leg competition. Neither of them entered it and I was pretty sure that Jim went to watch the Fast and the Furious which was playing in one of the theaters on the boat. Dan and I are bored so we decide to play cards in one of the lounges. There is a drunken Indian woman talking loudly over a Columbian cover band, or rather a cover band from Columbia. The Indian woman is with a man in a paisley shirt. 

They are sitting with a gay couple. The couple wants to be home Saturday instead of Sunday they say. Then they talk about how they want to go to London and Barcelona. I decided that I want to catch the solo travellers group again, I had seen in the ship’s programming that they meet every night at the same location and time. I walk by the sushi restaurant and get excited because I see a big group of people inside. Much larger than last night. I am soon disappointed. It is a large family exchanging Christmas gifts. I ate an edible and had to go to bed early again. I found out later that Jim and Dan ate five meals that evening. 

 

Day 3

We are supposed to get off the boat today. I am excited. I wake up early and walk laps around the boat, watching the sun rise again. I meet Jim for breakfast. Jim leaves to go see how we get off the ship. We meet again and decide to play basketball on what is almost a never empty court. As we are playing HORSE an announcement is made that due to the high waves the ship will not be going port. The feeling of disappointment hit me like a ton of bricks. We ended up having a long work meeting. During the meeting Jim got up to pee 5 times and Dan, 4 times. I opted out of dinner that evening to watch an Elton John movie. I found out later that Dan ate 9 meals that day. 

 

Day 4

The desperation of everyone feels to get off of the boat is palpable. There is nothing new left to explore. Nowhere to go, nothing to do. We are able to exit the boat and decide to go the opposite way of everyone. Shortly after, we realize that we need to go the same way as everyone else. We get to the non tourist beach which is full of people. We spend the day in the sand and water. It is nice. On the way back to the ship, not the boat, we walked through Atlantis, the famous resort there. 

An entertainer on our ferry told the audience that it rented for $25,000 a night. Our entertainer friend also asked us for a tip after giving us this information. The workers did not look happy. It was a strange place with pools and a lazy river. I wondered why you would want a pool with the ocean right there. We made it back onto the boat and all did separate things. It was a lot of time to spend with one another.  I was excited to get back to Miami, back to Maine, where I wasn’t being prodded like cattle.

 

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