Sunday, March 13, 2016

Alice in Ship Land: Week Three

-Sunday was frightening. Suddenly, the ship went from average age of cruiser 65 to 22. Spring Break is here and the swarms of college kids have descended upon us. There were so many bikini-bods holding pink frosty cups running around the pool deck. This is a new era. MB and I holed up in our cabin putting on face masks and eating the wasabi peas from crew mart.
-A few of us went to a sit-down restaurant one night, and I realized just how blasé I feel about ship life suddenly. A photographer asked if I would get up from my seat to pose for a photo and I just honked, “No.”
-This go ‘round in Cozumel I had the major urge to find a donut. I hadn’t had a donut in almost a month. Tuesday morning I got a major bee in my bonnet and was determined to find one. I Yelped around on pirated Wi-Fi until I found a bakery a mile up the coast. My gang wanted to visit the cemetery, so I conceded to that stop. It was colorful and kind of cute with wild lizards roaming about.
-Finally we got to this hot room full of pastries. I bought a cheese pocket and a sugar donut. I ate them with spiced ice coffee. We meandered and I felt the fuss creeping up in all of us. Only three weeks in and irritability rises. MB and ZPill want stuffed peppers. I wonder if I should go on my own for a bit. I am right on the edge of saying “I’ll leave you here,” but I don’t. I sit down in the restaurant and the clouds open. It pours.
-Tuesday night I was in the library trying not be distracted by the pack of middle schoolers who were lounging on the couches when Bril came rushing in and told me we had a show in half an hour. The seas were rocky, so it wasn’t safe for the aerialists to perform. I zipped up my stuff, ate four bites of a calzone, and rushed to get into costume. My hair was in knotty braided pigtails, but no time for curling iron. I slapped on lipstick and sped through the finale song. There were a lot of drunk frat boys, but it’s good to have a challenge. Every audience shouldn’t be good. Then I’m not getting all I should be out of this job.
-My eating has taken a bit of a tumble this week. I’ve had late night pizza three nights of the week. ZPill explained it well, “At home there’s the difficulty of getting junk food at night and a financial drawback. Here it’s like ‘Oh, do you have sixty seconds?’”
-Beach day in Roatan. Frazzled ship exit. Security telling me I couldn’t get off the ship, my roommate already off and calling from the gangway, finding a cab, paying for the beach, but finally we were there. The sand was soft as silk under my toes. The ocean warm and welcoming. The sun drying my hair in minutes. I drank out of a coconut and answered emails about an essay I am publishing in spring.
-Once a month the spa is open for crew. The hot tub is splashy in the rough waters. I take off my suit and wear a towel in the relaxation room. Ah.
-I finally set foot in Belize. It’s the hardest port for crew to get to because passengers clog the exits for hours. We take a tour with a woman who has never known another home. She tells us about the culture and her life from inside her car. The south side is broken, the north side corrupt. I drink lime juice and eat a grilled conch from lunch. Plus plantains. Oh plantains! I ask about feminism. She tells me men used to say “Jump” and they’d ask “how high?” Now, men say jump and the women climb.
-We rehearse, he have long lingering dinner, we do our show, late night cheesecake, the first upset, the patching it up, the sleep. The glorious sleep of being in the belly of the sea.
-Our “family friendly” show. Woof. It was my first time hosting and thirty seconds in a spring breaker screamed “gynecologist” at me. I did make two horrible puns and got literally boo’d by hundreds of people, but my third joke was pretty good, and I was cheered like Rudy.
-It took me two weeks to do a total revision of my musical. Cheers to the ship library. When MB wants to find me she walks in, says deadpan, “You’re so hard to find.”
-During the Murder Mystery the audience participates in questioning the perp (me). A big ol’ southern boy asked for my number in the middle of the show.
-The adult show was BONKERS. There were hundreds of people packed into the bar. Our perfect demographic. Afterwards the high fives were endless. A girl came up to me on the dance floor and said she loved us and when she turned around and thought I couldn’t hear: “Y’all, my heart is beating so fast!” The truth is, we’re good, but we don’t warrant this kind of affection. But, still, it’s a fun experience for a week at a time.

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