She gently asks him to stop, with a little too much room in her tone for him to refuse, in my opinion. Then she flashes me one of those searing just wait till you have kids looks, and the plane starts to shake very suddenly. We're flying through something, something bad enough that the drink service is halted, which always feels way more disappointing than it should feel, and also unfair because the first half of the air craft got to have their drinks and now the plane is going down and they'll have more of a chance of surviving, since they're all hydrated and we're not.
The turbulence is bad. I hang onto my arm rest and feel really really angry at whoever is responsible for all of this, the invisible hydraulics in the air and the trajectory of the plane and the geography of the country and everything else. I was actually looking forward to the cross-country flight, a few relaxing hours to sit still and read a book and not be bothered. Actually, I was really looking forward to this trip- a quick trip- three days, two of them full travel days, to my grandmother's funeral in Cleveland.
|The Wilderness Discoverer heads out to Alaska|
It gets worse.
Last Monday, some of my crew and I were hoisted away during the work day and taken into Ballard for a mandatory drug test. There were eight of us, and we had to go into that back room with the security guy one at a time. It took an hour and a half. I was the happiest I've been in a while, totally relaxed, sitting there with an Oprah magazine, mentally directing the others to pee slow. Make this last. When it was my turn, I did a quick overview of the space in the room- a tiny room with a nonflushing toilet and a sink with broken taps, no water- and just enough space for me to curl up on the floor and shut my eyes. If I wanted to. Which I did. I estimated how much time I'd have- ten minutes- maybe fifteen? Before the security guy pounded on the door. Fifteen golden minutes to myself.
I know how to work hard. I promise I do. But this life, this boat world, was dropped into my lap when I least expected it. I had a job, car, house, boyfriend, dog, routine, friends, plans. And then this offer happened, and I said yes, and suddenly I cannot keep up. I wake up at six, try and get the dog out for a few minutes, pack my things, stop for coffee, run out the door to Fisherman's terminal. Almost everybody else lives on the boat. They already left behind the aforementioned dog, boyfriend, car, house. I haven't yet.
I didn't cry. I think I left my body. Like a dying person who floats above their mangled, car-wrecked corpse on the side of the highway and feels peace. I felt peace because I was planning, with utmost certainty, to jump overboard and drown myself as soon as I got a moment to myself. I've never been yelled at before in my life- surely death was the only option.
The day ends after 6pm. Then I go home, to the moping dog, the half-packed house that needs a subletter, the car with the broken breaks that won't be fixed until October, and I run run run run from task to task, and late at night I drive across the city and shore up at Andrew's house and he makes me dinner and listens to my my tyraid, yet again, about how bad I am at everything. He's cooked me dinner three hundred times. I've cooked him dinner one time. I'm leaning on him hard.
In case you were wondering, I didn't do it. I didn't curl up on the bathroom floor like a demented person having an episode. But I could have. And that was thrilling.
|The view from my doorway|