Dreaming a Little Too Deeply

Dearest Rachel –

Sometimes you just know where your dream is coming from. That doesn’t make it any less absurd.

I’m pretty sure this had to do with the combination of my scoping out a new trip for later this year (pending confirmation of any scheduling conflicts – yes, they can be a thing yet), and having watched a couple of YouTube videos about the cuisine served to various classes of passenger aboard the Titanic, and how to make similar dishes. I think you can see where this is going, but there are a few additional twists to this. Of course, the fact that this was my third attempt at sleep (having woken up at two and four-thirty) before finally getting deep enough to dream may well have exacerbated things, but you never know.

Why my mind assumed that we were aboard the Anthem of the Seas, I have no idea. I’ve never been on that ship, and I could guarantee that the real ship doesn’t look anything like what I saw in my dream.

I should stop here and clarify what I mean by “we” here. I’m afraid you weren’t with us; by “us,” I’m talking about myself, mom and dad, and I think Jenn and her family were there. I don’t think Daniel was with us, as he is still prohibited from travel because of his beliefs and actions (or rather, inactions). Be that as it may, I’m not sure he’d have been terribly bothered by it, except for the light display in the main dining room, which I’ll get to in a moment.

The entire place was laid out in a style I could only describe as ‘top drawer Chinese restaurant.’ The color scheme was decidedly red and gold, with ornate golden decorations in the classic Chinese style – lions and dragons and all that. It was also more dimly lit than a typical cruise ship that you might recall; again, with the lighting level more akin to that of a fancy restaurant. Not quite so dark as to be sinister, but well dark enough to give the impression of a romantic twilight.

Interestingly, the main dining room wasn’t done so much in the Chinese restaurant theme as it seemed to be a constant celebration of the Lunar New Year. The chandeliers were dripping from the upper floors like the branches of willow trees, and would erupt with a blaze of LED lighting from their center before streams of light would cascade down the ‘branches,’ giving the illusion of an ongoing firework display. The telescreens mounted along the walls of the lower level displayed processions of lion dancers – the port side marching aft, while the the one on the starboard headed forward. Once they reached the end of the wall, the lion heads would blink several times, shake their heavily-fringed manes, and turn about, dancing back to where they had just come from in an endless loop.

The Esplanade (I know I referred to it as the ‘Promenade’ when I was onboard the Odyssey – I think that comes from the fact that one of the little shop along its row referred to itself as the Café Promenade, thus confusing me. A Promenade onboard ship is where you can walk around on deck outside, rather than inside like you were at a mall) was done up to look like you were walking through the commercial district of some city’s Chinatown. I’d be more than willing to trust myself to the barbershop or the laundry there (is that being stereotypical?), but I’m not so sure about the pizzeria…

At some point along the way, I realized that I was unable to take pictures of what I was seeing, much as I found myself wanting to do so, if for no other reason than to show you what I was in the midst of. I think at this juncture I realized that I was inside of a dream rather than an actual ship. However, there were suddenly other things to deal with than sightseeing around the ship. I don’t recall feeling off-balance at all, but one side of the Esplanade was starting to have water flooding in. Needless to say, this was not a good sign; the ship was listing, even as it was in port. Rather than abandon ship, however, we were instructed to make our way to our cabins on the upper decks.

Now, before you go on about the idiocies of dream logic – which is a legitimate complaint, I’ll not argue – bear in mind that we’re still in port at this juncture. Which means that theoretically, we’re still attached to the gangplank, although clearly, we’ve somehow gotten unmoored from it. We wouldn’t be able to exit that way, and for everyone to stampede for the exits on the one side of a ship might simply serve to make the ship list that much further. If everyone goes to their rooms, which are of course on both sides of the ship, it might balance out the center of gravity. And if the ship were to go straight down, odds are that we would still end up above the waterline. Not the most airtight of justifications, to be sure, but at least it’s reasonable.

And, of course, problems ensued from that as well. The halls leading to the various cabins were likewise relatively dim (that whole Chinese restaurant atmosphere again); and while the cabin numbers were printed up on the carpet in two foot large serif font, when we got to our cabin numbers (98 and 99, which doesn’t make sense in retrospect – odd numbers would be on one side of the ship, and even number on the other), that’s all that was there when we got there, as the very far end of the ship (I don’t even know if it was the bow or the stern, but it hardly matters). There were no cabins; there wasn’t even a door. Just empty space.

We are not the types to do this much, but we complained to the head purser, a squat little man in a white tuxedo with a black bow tie. He explained – apropos of absolutely nothing – that our cabin had been double booked, and we would have to wait to make sure that the other people who had also reserved that room didn’t come to claim it. Which is absolutely ridiculous, as the room wasn’t there to be claimed by either of us.

I think that’s when my suspension of disbelief snapped, and I woke up, only to find that I had slept in to a ridiculous extent, and I still had to get myself put together, and tell you about this, before getting breakfast for myself and heading out for the day. I suppose if I delay long enough, I’ll be able to bring Daniel over, so that he can sign and send off his tax return for last year (I’ve taken care of ours yesterday, honey – not that it matters to you).

So, that’s the story. Hope you found it interesting; kinda wish a vessel like that existed – well, apart from the cabins, and the sinking… you know what, never mind.

Take care, and keep an eye out for us.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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