June 18, 2007 @ 11:00 PM – Come up to the library, we’ll have a wild time

Tonight I left my mother in the casino so I could try to actually write from the deck, but the latter part of this plan failed for a number of reasons. One, this really isn’t a laptop-friendly ship and I couldn’t find anywhere to set up that wasn’t stuck in a corner and freezing. Two, the night sky over the ocean wasn’t nearly as inspirational as I expected it would be. No stars, no lights on the horizon, just infinite pitch black. I stared into it for a few minutes and was eerily both drawn to and repulsed by it in that “œif you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you” sort of way, so I decided I’d be safer to write from the library. Several of the passageways have cozy nooks and crannies where I’d like to set up sometime, but at night the bars there are overflowing with loud people and louder music. Tomorrow is another day at sea, so maybe I can slip off a bit then.

Speaking of slipping off, after leaving mom to nap after our Cabo excursion I found a semi-quiet place to read my prescribed book for the trip, Franny and Zooey. My honest first reaction…Salinger uses commas like crack cocaine. I got the shorter first section finished, but I doubt I’ll have a chance to read any more of it before disembarking Thursday.

I discovered today how really useless I am without technology. Well, not quite useless…I’m just so used to having something electronic handy to record thoughts and ideas as they pop into my head before I forget them or at least forget how I originally wanted to phrase them. I’ve been asking the staff for a pen and paper all afternoon to record bits and pieces so I can recall them now when I have time to flesh those ideas out a bit.

One such event I had to write down was something I overheard a hopefully autistic teenage boy muttering as he was walking down the hall: The ship’s moving and nobody knows why. I’ll find out after I go kill my mom and dad, mom and dad. He didn’t get my attention at all until the whole killing part, and eye contact I made with another gentleman nearby confirmed we both heard the same thing. It wasn’t until I wrote down the whole bit after I scrambled for some paper when I realized the first line is the brilliant part. The ship’s moving and nobody knows why. I have to admit that something inside me felt the same after doing nothing but floating around and eating for that long.

So while I was wandering to overhear the aforementioned, I was scouring the ship looking for my mother after reading all I could read in one sitting in such an environment. She was supposed to meet me on deck, but I never saw her. She never has any idea where we’re going when we’re together, so I was afraid she’s either gotten lost or stopped to gamble or god for bid even gotten hurt somehow…anyway, after looking for about an hour and I was starting to think how much this kinda sucked, one of those oddball events struck me that reminds me that everything happens for a reason. There was a show about to start in one of the lounges, and I was walking down the stairs from the balcony trying to see if mom was waiting for me there. Suddenly, I felt a bump against me and saw a small flash of blond and legs as a little girl fell backwards in my general direction. With reflexes that surprised me, I reached into the tumble of child and found an arm, saving her from going head over heels down the marble staircase. Parents came close behind so I didn’t have to deal with the inevitable tears that followed, but the fact that I found my own mother not 5 minutes later really seemed to reinforce that I’m in tune with some wacky energy our there.

Ever since I walked in the library, there’s been a loud squeaking noise coming from somewhere that’s been driving me mad. I just now found the source to be a display case and borrowed a few pages from a discarded New Yorker magazine to wedge between the offending pieces of metal. The elderly gentleman reading in here with me smiled gratefully and with some amusement.

More I’ve discovered about my new grinding habit…it’s not necessarily typing that triggers it, but percussive noises, like drums. Or perhaps it’s things that get into my brain with some sort of a rhythmic pattern, because I’ve also noticed I do it more when I’m doing lots of shading in photoshop.

This is going to sound weird, but I really like ordering in the main dining room. There’s something strangely satisfying about closing my menu and being able to say “œI’d like to start off the salmon, a Caesar salad, and the filet mignon. And I’d like that with your red zinfandel, please” while the rest of the table is umming and pawing at their menus. I’ve never ordered that way in my life, but the first time I sat down in that dining room it’s like some sort of instinct kicked in that even my mother noticed.

I have more notes left that I wanted to write about, but I promised mom I’d be back in the room by 11. I didn’t even start writing until then since it took so long to find somewhere to go, and I had to make two trips to gather all my notes…once back to the room, and one from dinner that I had my mom stick in her purse. When I got to her in the casino, she was arguing with the staff about a $1000 slot payout they weren’t going to give her because of a machine malfunction, so I gained a little buffer time staying with her then to work that out (she ended up just getting $100, which still isn’t bad).

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