Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Big & Small of it

Big things sometimes come in small doses. Like the jam-packed flavor of a jelly belly, or the incredible amount of agony caused by one miniscule canker sore. But I'm not talking about anything tangible here -- I'm talking about karma. There are the times in life when it seems to strike you down like the iron hand of God -- when a car cuts you off moments after you just prevented someone from entering the carpool lane, or when you pull a wrinkled dollar bill out of your pocket after having let the woman with two items go ahead of you in the grocery line. Thankfully, I haven't needed any stitches yet, nor have I received any anonymous post-its on my cabin door. But I am quite sure that things, big and small, have been mysteriously related in recent weeks.

Since I hadn't been home for the holidays in awhile, I spent the week of Christmas in Fresno with my parents. On the day after Christmas, I had to drive 3 1/2 hours back to LA, finish packing, then head to the airport for a red eye. Needless to say, it was a long day of travel, and I wanted nothing more than to sleep on the flight so that I could be refreshed and ready for my first day on the ship. I had it all planned out: A Tylenol PM. A playlist that was not as cleverly titled as the "perfect plane ride" on the ipod Britta and I hijacked, but appropriately soporific. A travel pillow and an extra layer of sweatshirt. What I did not anticipate was a full flight, and a full-on invasion of my seat and armrest. The man was large, and I of course could not blame him for that. I would be lying though if I didn't admit that I had numerous half-dreams in my half-sleep of kicking him in the nads. Mostly because he kept jostling around like a jellyfish and did not apologize for nor move his massive amount of crap that had conveniently spilled to my side of the foot divider; including beef jerky crumbs and jumbo-sized packages of Doritos.

I am normally a morning person, but even the quick dose of Dunkin Donuts coffee that I downed that morning after seeking refuge could not awake me from my frazzled and exhausted stupor. When I boarded the second plane headed for Nassau, which was a small puddle jumper, I was the first to sit in my row -- of two. I took a big stretch, prepared for my big nap, and was then pleasantly surprised when a not-so-big person took the seat next to me.

Mighty Mike hails from Palm Springs, California, and was on his way to do a show in Nassau for New Years. We talked for the entire flight and I helped him with his luggage up and down the stairs to the gangway -- believe it or not I can be a good samaritan when nobody is watching. Nonetheless, the guilt kicked in. I had stowed my crap in front of him, partly out of retaliation and partly out of convenience. It's not like space that he could nor would use, but still. Was I the bigger person for having put up with the small thing with the big guy, or the smaller person for having taken big advantage of a dwarf?

Moving on to the decks of the MV Explorer. I spent the first few weeks in two very large and spacious cabins. Allowing myself to put things into drawers and spread out my clothes so that I could see them. I thought about Mike a few times, and what an ass I was for putting my backpack in front of him, when lo and behold, I got moved to one of the smallest cabins on the ship. So much for my big dreams of watching the sun rise from my porthole and taking leisurely strolls from my bathroom to my bed pillow. I am now spending the next 4 months in a converted textbook closet. And boy oh boy, do I deserve it. In a big way.

1 comment:

avcoords07 said...

"closet" is a good term for them, fo' sho'.

Be careful with that shower head- it tends to swing crazy like when you least expect it. And the toilets... they tend to leak too. And the shower curtain, it loves to stick to your side as you *try* and "clean" yourself. And the divider between the "shower" and the "bathroom" it tends to not divide.. . anything.

but hey... you know where you are