Jeremiah's School of Levitation


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Yellowed Travel Journal, Part 1

Wherein, I take a look at notes from travels past...
Aruba, 1991

We found it hard to continue hearing the guy next to us making biting, stupid comments and, finally, we just moved to another seat. And, five minutes later, he followed us.

The tour guide talked more about the way the sharks tend to stay on this side of the island, because the hotel owners hire people to feed them, to go out in boats and dump hotel restaurant waste. This keeps the sharks from coming to the south side of the island, where the tourists are. The sharks got to remembering when the feeding time was and they'd gather and even nip at each other, already in a frenzy, ready now to eat even bubbles. The hotel workers had all sorts of stories of crazed sharks, looping out of the water like porpoises, waiting for anything at all to fall from the boat.

One time, it was one of the hotel workers that fell from the boat. He had leaned over too far, carrying the heavy trash can full of fat scraps, soiled rags, grease globules, and the detritus of all manner of animals and plants, and he lost his balance just as the can tipped over the surface of the clear water, a quarter mile from the rough edges of the north coast. He went right over, his heart sending a scream to his throat that was nearly perfectly in harmony with the gasp of the guy sitting next to him, who was reaching for a can of his own and who had, out of the corner of his eye, watched the mishap unfold. The worker went right over, and landed with a splash that muffled his scream when the water rushed into his mouth. The dumb, gluttonous sharks couldn't tell him from the globules of delicious grease.

The tour guide just shook his head as he finished the story. "We got him back," he said, "but the ravenous sharks only let us have part of him back. He can only sit down now and, he used to be right-handed, but because he doesn't have his right arm anymore, he's had to learn to use the other one. He's become a wonderful artist, though."

The tour guide then closed his mouth and turned to look out to the sea, to let his last comment settle upon us, let it wring images of blood and detached muscle from our sun-bleached minds. I put my hand on my girlfriend's knee and leaned to her, looking in her eyes, which were harboring some horrid imagined image of their own. I offered a comforting grin, and she was nearly about to respond.

That's when that guy came back and sat next to us.

"Better view here," he said, whispering, leaning his large, sweating head toward us. "Man, too bad about that worker. Gives new meaning to the phrase 'I'd give an arm and a leg for this job,' huh?" He laughed at himself.

And so, just like a gluttonous shark, the guy took another bite.
Jeremiah, 1:32 AM

4 Back at me:

Ugh - the insensitivity of the guy sitting next to you (shudders).

Poor hotel worker guy,
Blogger Teri, at 7:33 AM  
Ugh. That guy reminds me of that SNL sketch.




Where were you, anyway? I'd love to be there instead of here at work.
Blogger Mona Buonanotte, at 11:17 AM  
I'm glad I wasn't eating lunch when I read this post! That's a lot of graphic detail... good, graphic detail!
Blogger Sarah Elaine, at 6:27 PM  
Teri: You should have seen the look on his face--he really didn't have to speak to reveal his sharkishness.

Mona: We were really in Aruba, which is getting some bad press these days what with the Holloway thing, but, really, the people there are absolutely beautiful. A mixture of African, Dutch, and Spanish blood.

Sarah: Shark attacks make for graphic details, second only to collegiate vomiting stories. I got those too! (Woo, getting yucky in my old age...)
Blogger Jeremiah, at 1:25 AM  

Say sump-tun