Sunday, July 17, 2016

Alice in Ship Land: Sweet Sixteen

-A new Mexican restaurant opened on board and passengers can’t make reservations yet, so we decided to go as a cast. Tail was in a particularly good mood and pushed for all the apps, two desserts, mahi tacos for all! I even treated myself to a lime soda because real non-mass produced food tasted so so divine. I will not miss a single dish on this cruise ship. I’m grateful. I have matured here. I am no longer a person who is even remotely enticed by the concept of “all you can eat dessert.”

-Our first day in port, MB and I got a hookup from a friend of a friend to take a glass bottom boat tour in the Bermuda Triangle followed by a snorkel sesh. I saw turtles poking their heads up, long brown creatures, lots of reef (my favorite was brain coral), and a big mama fish that was probably no less than half my size. We were famished when we got back to the ship, ate our faces off at the diner, and then snuggled up for The Bachelorette. RIP Wells.

-I’ve been into night writing in the library. Feeling jazzed, putting the pedal to the metal.

-Staff enrichment threw a crew party on the helipad! It was so fun. I went around midnight and everyone was there dancing and mingling. The beats were typical “everybody dance” jams, and everybody did! The galley workers, the room stewards, the spa staff. I kicked my legs with an engineer and grooved with the South Africans. Plus, anytime I looked up—stars. Looked out—the ocean zooming past. Pretty rad. On land a party like this (with free booze nonetheless) could easily be billed for $100 per person, but it was complimentary, and, like all things, a six minute walk from my house.

-Monday was super duper hot, so a few of us went to the Bermuda museum. I actually learned a lot, and the grounds were nothing to cough at—big ol’ mansion, rolling meadow lawn, a dolphin pool. The usual. There was a gigantic mural by a local artist who painted in deep colors—anti the “pastel syndrome” he believes his home to be afflicted with. The quote on display was, “Part of my sanity was left in that room.” I relate. I hadn’t brought water and bust out on a hunt, but before I got to the pharmacy, I saw a snow cone tent and bought one of those instead. Not smart, but, yes, refreshing.

-Our final day in port MB and I caught the bus to Horseshoe Bay, also know as THE pink sand beach in Bermuda. I bought a ginger beer, hiked up an overlook at the beach corner, and then got in the water. Best. Beach. Ever. Period. There’s no contest. The salt water is JUST chilly enough to be refreshing, but warm enough to slide right in. There are no rocks, the sand is ultra soft, and the waves were perfectly balanced, strong and gentle. I let them push me to shore and laid there, belly down in the sand. It started to rain, and in the grey I really saw the pink hue shine. We went back to the boat because it was show night. A good one, a solid one. Folds accidentally dropped an F bomb in the 7 PM during the improv section. I wonder if any kids will remember. MB and I were judging the dance battle. A goofy high schooler with secret moves won. The little side jobs we have to do often seem like an inconvenience, but I always enjoy myself. We dance and prance around the lounge, around the ship, down to crew bar to chat and hang. I’m very into ginger beer now. Three this week. If I’m really gutsy I ask for a cherry or lime too.

-First sea day back is gym, breakfast, rehearsal. Tension with a castmate. This experience is very difficult sometimes. MB has reminded me that if I were on a team with any of these people in Chicago, there wouldn’t be time to find what really gets under our skin. But here all we have is time to think about why other people suck. Instead of doing that I write, enjoy some banana bread, get my head scratched by a friend, show up happy for the family show. I text Puhg for the rest of the night. I almost forget the distance. I listen to my acoustic playlist and walk a mile around the deck. Passengers recognize me as give me compliments, so I put my hood up.

-The cruise ends with me, three castmates, and two castaways (a dancer and HR) sitting in my cabin talking about first kisses and toots on airplanes. It’s three AM, and I call it. In the morning I have brunch with Bex. She is two years younger than me but her life is settling into a more stereotypical version of adulthood at rapid speed. For all the set-backs of being a professional actor, the weird schedule, and missing weddings, and the unstable paychecks--I’ll take it all for not only Doing the Dream but doing it with nights like Thursday regularly occurring. We have our whole lives to be steady.

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