I am listening to one of the last cruise ships of the season bellowing to its passengers to hurry up with three consecutive blasts that can be heard well beyond the borders of Portland.
When I moved here, I never dreamed I could be so fascinated by these ungainly celebrations. Apparently, September and October is cruise ship season on the New England coast. The Jewel of the Sea, Carnival Glory, Norwegian Dawn, and many others, slide in and out of the Gateway like it’s Wal-Mart at Christmas, unloading up to 3000 passengers each into our little city.
If I know a ship is arriving early in the morning, my family of three is up and out the door to watch the spectacle. Likewise, in the evening it’s an excuse to take another walk with like-minded Portlanders, and collectively we stare. Almost nothing is said (for me a major accomplishment), but we all gawk at the sight, not really sure how to process it.
The closest thing I can relate to this experience is the Ice Cream Man and having no money for the Chipity Chocolatey. The horn blasts, and like a well trained animal, I turn off the stove or close the computer, grab the leash, and head for the overlook where I watch the rich kids gorge on sugar and fat, not sure I want to partake, but somehow feeling left out .
Back at my writing desk from my foray into the weird world of cruising, I will try to re-focus. But I have this incessant craving for a Choc-o-nut or a Cherry Bombe, or even a Screwball.
How about you?