Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Europe, 2013, Day 9 (07-12-13) At Sea

Europe 2013 Journal
Day 9, At Sea, Friday, July 12

9:24 a.m. Up at 6:15, showered, dressed, went to breakfast at 7, only to realize that we have crossed into a new time zone and it was officially only 6. Oh, well. I was one of the very first to arrive when the restaurant did open. Sitting at a table near the aft railing, looking back at the ship's wake, I waxed philosophical (as you may have noticed I am occasionally wont to do) and thought of my life being very much similar. I go through life looking at the past and seeing it receding further and further. I really should spend more time on the bow of life, watching for what lies ahead.

With only one exception (when I had to charge the camera's battery) I've taken a photo of every meal I've had aboard. This morning was...a raspberry crepe, yogurt, smoked salmon with cream cheese and onion slice, orange juice, coffee, and my 350-calorie packet of nutritional supplement. I didn't eat it all, of course, but it was nice to sample.

Came back to my cabin and washed out a pair of pants. The shorts and socks I washed day before yesterday are still damp. (“You wash your clothes in your cabin? How very lower middle class of you,” I can imagine a lot of people saying. To which I reply: “Live with it.”)

The entire day at sea, and I'll spend a lot of it on the observation deck trying to make some sense of this mess that is my computer files. I have so many photos the most recent are difficult to move through easily. I don't have my backup drive here, and while I assume I can just delete most of them without losing them on backup, I don't want to take the chance.

11:41 Did I say somehting earlier about best laid plans? Well, just came up to the observation deck to work on the computer, and it is like someone has grabbed you by the shoulders and shaken you, gently but consistently, non-stop. Jiggle-jiggle-jiggle-jiggle-jiggle. I think I'll head to a lower deck.

11:50 Now on the Promenade Deck, sitting in a deck chair looking out over the Mediterranean. Me! Sitting on a deck chair on the prominade deck! Will wonders never cease? Lovely day, very light haze but not a cloud in the sky. Passed a large cruise ship just as I was leaving the Observation Deck, but at the moment there is nothing but horizon.

12:44...not. Dorien, sophisticated man of the world that he is, did not bother to tell Roger that the one hour time change is tonight, not last night, and that it is therefore now 11:44, not 12:54. Ah, well.

2:06 (or will be tomorrow at this time). Just back from lunch. They always have a separate buffet table on the back dining's where they serve the tapas at dinner...and today they were featuring a panoply of various cheeses, bread, and crackers. I had camembert, asiago, and stilton, together with a half-bowl of cream of chicken soup. The bar waitress came around and asked if I wanted a beer...she always remembers that I like Guiness, and I had forgotten that beer (though not Guiness) is free only at dinner. I had a Heinekin for 3.94 euros...around $5. Everything aboard is charged to your room and paid for when you check out.

Being gay is not all of who I am, but it influences nearly everything I do or think. Some cute crew and staff aboard—head waiter Danya, a Ukranian, Rolly, a Philippino...and married...waiter, etc., and I think I told you about that very nice 30-year-old (looks younger) Swiss young man, Fabian, traveling with his sister. The fact that I am old enough to be their grandfather or great-grandfather, and that there is no possible way they could be expected to have any physical attraction to me, that does not stop me from being attracted to them. At times I suspect I bear an unhealthy emotional kinship to the protagonist in “A Death in Venice.”

4:10...okay, so I'm stuck in tomorrow's time. Went to the Promenade Deck to sit on a desk chair (well, they're really more like a chaise lounge) and stare out at the ocean, trying to count the waves. To imagine all the waves in all the oceans and seas of the world since the beginning of time...have there been more of them than there are grains of sand? Who knows? And would all the grains of sand multiplied by all the waves in the sea come anywhere close to the number of stars in the sky? I'd like to know, but doubt I will.

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