They learned to respect us on foreign shores.
Sea dirt, clogging your pores. I’m a glorified mop sponge, paid a high class salary to do so. I have a title, i’m introduced at all of the social functions as Captain, i’m more of a picture show. A sailor in the outfit, they give me salutes and look ready to arm the torpedoes. I hardly attended the Naval Academy, I didn’t expect this early retirement.
Only in America, we’re so fat that we need a sturdier runway to lower onto Jamaican piers. They’ve gotten used to the pudge, the confused sweating waddle-mass headed starboard to the tourist beaches. To the club cabanas, the marijuana alleys, they almost built an entire new wing of the city to accommodate the weight influx.
I’ve stopped trying to fool people. I don’t even wear the bottoms anymore, just the sailor top. Symbolic, I tossed the pants and shoes off the side of the ship on a nightly drunk, some few months ago. Shorts and tube socks, my celebrity still gets me laid with the Dad wardrobe.
Every night I watch my girl cabaret on that stage, under the heavy fluorescents you can see her foundation caked on heavy to cover her pockmarks. It sweats down her cheeks with her ballet streaks, nine other lookalikes can-canning onstage with the same level of paycheck desperation that shipped us all out to sea. In search of nothing, always on a return voyage.
We met non-romantic, more of an obligation. Handshakes with the crew, they must respect my wishes i’m told. On her last legs, supposed to be retired from show business. Stuck in it for years, longed to go back to Vegas where Hell stayed on one street, the rest of the desert remained a family oasis. Instead we set sail on a wooden mass of gluttony, every meal a buffet, every chicken finger a prayer for a quick death from too-clogged arteries. She learned to ignore the beer belly.
At night I listen to the cries of the ocean, a whole universe crashing and dying beneath the rudder. Necklaces of soda six-pack plastics and the nightmeal of oil spill, I make sure to avoid the tilapia when I move down the cafeteria line. I’m on a strict land animal diet, though i’m sure the Soy breading and the Soy dressing and the Soy Soy do about the same damage over time as a refinery explosion. I’m a dietary hypocrite.
I wrote in my Will to be buried at sea, I know i’ll pass into senility on this liner. Sweetheart gets my hat, the sea gets my body. I’ve always dreamed of a viking burial — to send my body out on a rescue canoe, piled on with fireworks and cake candles.
Refrigerate ’til the Fourth of July. Light me up over the coast of Mexico. Give the natives an old fashioned American ash bath.