June 19, 2015
So there I was, eating breakfast in the cruise ship buffet dining room. What did I have for breakfast? What didn’t I have for breakfast! Cruise ship + buffet = passengers too fat to get into a lifeboat in case of an emergency. Seriously, if the boat did go down, there would be a significant number of people clinging to the omelet station in rough seas.
So the four of us were sitting at a table next to the floor-to ceiling windows. We were in the back of the ship and I had an amazing view of the sea.
Somehow the conversation came around to watches. There was a watch sale onboard, and the prices really were good- 75% off Invictus watches, for example, and no tax. My brother was showing off the expensive watch he was wearing (NOTE TO WOULD-BE THIEVES: He keeps the watch locked in a safe, so back off!) and I showed off the classy watch I picked up a couple of days before at the $10 sale. OK, it was no Invictus, but the painted-on day and date dials saved the trouble of actually having to set the day and date. And I think Cruise Club is a pretty swanky name because hey, it tells people “I bought this $10 piece of junk on a cruise!”
There was a lull in the conversation as we all took in the majesty of the sea, Neptune’s Kingdom, Poseidon’s Paradise, the place my Uncle Lou peed, when from the next table came an unfamiliar voice in a very familiar Brooklyn accent saying “so you like watches, huh?”
This was directed at my brother, not me. Or maybe it was directed at me, I don’t know. My plan (and I implemented it beautifully) was to ignore people I didn’t want to talk to, which was anyone who was not handing me a dry towel as I got out of the pool.
It turned out the Brooklyn accent came from a woman sitting at the next table, another very senior senior citizen. She was there with her companion, who turned out to also have a very thick Brooklyn accent. Their names were Lorena and Robyn, and I know this because Lorena went around the table third-grade style and made us introduce ourselves, herself and Robyn included. And guess what? She was a former third-grade teacher. (Ever “see” a word in your mind’s eye? Even though Robyn never spelled out her name, I saw it spelled with a “y” as soon as she said it, hanging there in midair in front of her.)
The conversation was actually kind of not unpleasant. We talked for a few minutes and of course the talk turned to where everyone came from. And not only did Lorena and Robyn come from Brooklyn, and not only the same part of Brooklyn (Bensonhurst), but from 2 damn blocks away from me. Two blocks! We talked about stores in the neighborhood, schools, all kinds of stuff that I talk about at home, not a thousand miles away from home.
I traveled to the Caribbean to talk to a pair of people who live 2 blocks away from me.
I haven’t seen them since I’ve been home. I’ve been spending a lot of time in my apartment just in case they walk past my door.
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 3: My Review of Saturday Night Fever: The Musical, at Sea.