Back To NOLA

8/11/12, 6:10pm CDT, about 3 hours southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River

The oil rigs, sitting high above the ocean surface, tell us we are getting closer to port. They sit, somewhat majestically, hovering above the water, unmoving, yet a sad symbol that our journey is coming to an end. Life is all a series of journeys, some good, and some bad. This one was good, but I fear bad journeys ahead for some reason I cannot quantify at present.

The water, still a nice navy blue, has darkened from the tropical blues and greens of yesterday. It is deep, and it always makes me wonder just how they even put in an oil rig in the first place? Yeah, divers can go a ways down, but not far enough, surely, to put pipes in for something like that, here.

The boat chugs along, matched wave for wave by a cargo/tanker off our port side. I would imagine that the occupants of that vessel are not as sad as I to be coming into port. There, they will drop their cargo/fuel, pick up other things, and probably take a few hours to replenish stores and get ready for their next voyage. Us, we are simply returning from fantasyland, going back to the real of life.

I’ve always threatened Sweetie to just stow away somewhere on the boat. Yeah, the cruise line would look for me and eventually find me, I’m sure, but it would be so nice if they didn’t. Again, maybe I could exchange my life for someone working on board, taking her uniform and her being an inlander for a few months. What an adventure we’d each have. Kind of like that Wife Swap show, although this would be Life Swap. Sounds like a new reality series. Remember, you heard it here first!

I often wonder if the staff on the ship, hearing our whining at not wanting to leave, silently wish we’d simply pack our crap and go so that they could get back to their “normal” day, as disembarkation (which is, in my opinion, one of the most horrid words in the dictionary)/embarkation (likewise, one of the best words in the dictionary) day has to be the hardest day of their week. Turning over 2,000 guest rooms and other areas in 4 short hours has to be tough.

We gain on the cargo/tanker, as I contemplate my situation. The oil rig, now in the distance, will certainly be followed by many more before we reach the river. My depression gathers steam, coming back with a vengeance.

Living in a landlocked state, one thought always hits me, as we sail into port: will I see the ocean again, will I sail the waves and experience its treasures, or will this be the last time? Not to be morbid, but you never know what is around the next bend. With a good friend and friend of his recently diagnosed with cancer at young ages, it makes me wonder if/when it will be me or someone I love. If it does happen, just take me to the ocean. I hate being in a landlocked state. I need the sea.

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