Saturday, September 19, 2015
It's funny what you get used to underway. Like not being able to walk in a straight line down a passageway. Calling it a passageway instead of a hall. Bouncing gently off the bulkheads as the ship rolls in the swells. Knocking on every QAWTD (quick acting watertight door) before you open it. Calling out "female on deck" every time I want to go up to do laundry. Holding on with a death grip to the handrails when walking up or down a ladder. Calling it a ladder instead of stairs. The incessant hum of ventilation that fills the air. Having black out curtains that get put up right at sunset, whether I'm in my room or not. Seeing a sign on posted on the messdeck that says "We're out of white napkins. Sorry for the inconvenience." Having absolutely no control over internet connectivity. Turning sideways in the passageway so two people can pass in different directions. Not having any teaspoons, but having the table set with soup spoons every lunch and dinner. Wearing my sweatshirt for most of the day when I'm at my desk because the a/c unit is right behind me and blows right down my neck. Most times, I wear the hood up even when it's 95 degrees outside (it's so nice to have a/c that kicks ass down here!). Feeling guilty for skipping steps on the ladder (it's a major safety violation during our training cycle). The smell of flash gear that's been worn about half a dozen times and put away slightly damp from sweat each time. Folding someone else's laundry because I need the dryer and their stuff is done but they haven't come to retrieve it yet. Finding a fork in my pants pocket that I forgot I put there when I was in the chow line for breakfast. Water that comes out of the cold tap at 90 degrees because that's its temp in the storage tank. The harsh glare of blue lights after coming off the bridge from a night watch with no moon. Working out on the flight deck with the wind off the bow blowing stack gas (engine exhaust) all around. That glorious feeling at 1600 of putting on deck shoes after having worn safety-toed boots all day. The starboard landfill. Ducking underneath the small boats to get back to the fantail. The gymnastics required to make a round of all of the spaces onboard. The sign-up sheets that sprout on the messdeck juice, water and milk machines for various morale events. The comments on said sign-up sheets. How my glasses fog up Every.Single.Time. I leave my stateroom. That endless blue or grey or silver or slate expanse of water that surrounds us that is bigger than any thought or ideal.