Vacation – Part 6 – The Canal, the Bitch and other happenings.

– First day at sea feeling a little bit better, but still didn’t do too much.  There wasn’t much going on that interested me and I figured the extra rest never hurts.

Observation of the day: What happens in the vortex of the buffet that switches off the civilized part of people’s brains?
No, I mean seriously?  The food isn’t going to run out.  Is it the heat factor?  Making sure to cut people off to get the goods while they’re still warm?  I don’t think that’s it because I had a guy give me the stink eye while I was  waiting for my bagel in front of the dry cereal because there was no where else to go.  Now mind you, I moved right as I saw him coming.  He never had to wait.  It seemed as if it was the prospect of having to wait or ask me to move that made him snarl.  And he sure did snarl at me.
I don’t know.
My theory is they pump some kind of odorless “Lord of the Flies” gas into the room and observe from behind all of the those mirrors circled around the center of the room.

The next morning we passed through the Panama Canal and let me just say that I wouldn’t believe the story I’m about to tell you if it didn’t happen to me myself…

I woke up about 5 in the morning.  Couldn’t sleep.  I was actually feeling better than I had been but was wide awake for some reason.  We had talked at diner the night before about where we were going to watch going through the canal from and heard that one of the lounges boasted one of the best views.  We figured people would be getting up way early to get seats for that though so we figured we’d get up when we do and head there to see what we could.  I figured since I was up, why not head down there and gets us some great seats.
I got there about 5:30 am and there were quite a few people there reserving seats already.  Even more than I had figured.  I decided to save 4 with a table figuring the kids probably wouldn’t stay very long and if they did they could share a chair with one of us.  And to be nice and fair I didn’t even save them all in the front row.  I got 2 in the very front and 2 right behind those. About 10 minutes later 4 women came and took the front four to the left of ours and another woman came and took the two to our right.  By 6am it looked as if every front row seat was being reserved and the second row was starting to fill in as well.
MJ and her parents came to relieve me at about 7:15am.  I went back to the room to take my meds, clean up a bit and grab my camera before heading back up.  They saved one of the front row chairs for me.
We were scheduled to go through the first lock at 8:30am.  I’m not sure what time it actually was, because it seemed like this all started happening not too long after I sat down.
I’ll try to point it out in the pictures, but there was just enough space for leg room between the first set of chairs and the bar that went across the window.

For whatever reason that I still don’t know, there was a couple who thought it would be OK to sit there in front of us.  Didn’t ask or say anything, just came in and sat down right in the line of picture taking.  The downside of having front row seats means no standing up to get shots so I was going to have to shift around in my seat to get shots around the bar.
I said “excuse me” to the gentleman and explained that he was in my way of taking pictures and he said he would just duck or move when I needed him to.  Perhaps this is where I should’ve been more flexible, but I told him no.  That I had been saving the seats for 3 hours and it wasn’t fair for him to just come up there and squat.  Hre wasn’t the nicest about it, but he did finally leave.  I pushed the arm of my chair within a few inches of the chair arm of the lady to my left.  And a few minutes later as I was turned talking to MJ, a woman stepped over the arms of our chairs and sat exactly where the man I asked to move was sitting.
Ugh!  Seriously?
I started to talk to the woman and told her the same thing that I had told the man, but she just told me she was going to stay and then started ignoring me.  Yes, you read that right, a grown woman ignored me like a 7 year old.
I begged and pleaded to her and she wouldn’t say a word.  She wouldn’t even look at us at this point.  The last thing she said was “it was my problem, not hers”.

I don’t know if it was being tired, stunned or just plain hurt at this woman’s incredible rudeness, but I cried.  Just sat there and cried for a bit.  I heard the crazy old bat sigh a few times as if my crying was bothering her.  Good.
After a bit she moved in a way that was now blocking Joe’s view.  MJ leaned over and told the woman that he couldn’t see either and she wouldn’t acknowledge her at all.  I couldn’t take it.  I started to get a little bit loud with her.  I asked her what kind of person she was that she wouldn’t honor the fact that she was in the way of people who had been there long before her and she again looked at me and said it was my problem, not hers and that I should just keep crying.  Just cry.
WHAT?!??  What is the matter with you?!??  I must’ve asked her that at least 5 times.
Awhile later the woman who had also butted in on the floor up there to her left got up.  The woman she was sitting in front of didn’t seem to mind she was there so I asked her if this lady could sit in that spot and she said no problem.  So I asked the beast if she minded moving over 2 feet so.  She looked up at me and said she was fine right where she was.
I lost it.
I told her that not only was she blocking MJ’s 85 year old father, but that I’m a photographer with stage 4 cancer who got there at 5:30 to reserve those seats because it was that important to get good shots.  Yup, I went there.  No, I hadn’t really planned on saving those seats, but there is some truth in that statement plus it was the principle at that point.  All she had to do was move over 2 fucking feet!  Her response to me was “she didn’t care, she wasn’t moving and I should just cry.”  WHO TELLS THAT TO SOMEONE?  I’m pretty sure she’s the coldest person I’ve ever met in my entire life.  How do you get to be that old and not know how to play nice with others in the world?
Needless to say I was pretty shaken.  And I did cry.  It was quite a scene.
About 5 to 10 minutes before we were out of the first lock, the woman to my left decided to leave.  Open seat and the horrible witch wouldn’t take it.  Continued to sit right where she was.  In the next few minutes more seats opened up and she continued to stand her ground.  I don’t know for sure but I suspect she didn’t like that I asked the first guy to move and that’s why she jumped over the arm of the chairs to squat there.  Or she was just so bugged about everything that happened that she was going to have “the last word”.  As sure as shit as soon as I stood up to leave, she left too.  I would not normally wish harm on anyone or anything, but she had to sit in a small cramped space for along time and I really hoped she got the worst case of leg cramps ever.
Sadly ours was not the only squabble in the room that morning.  There were quite a few “down in fronts” that started getting nasty.
I got to see everything going through the first lock and then went and got something to eat.  Back to the buffet routine.  I was beyond annoyed at this point.  I looked around at the behavior of a lot of the old people in there and was just disgusted.  I took my drama ass back to the stateroom.  I was drained emotionally and physically and figured that was the best place for me.  Didn’t even come out for the second lock.  Watched it on TV and took a nap.

I can say one thing for sure that I like about my cancer…  it will either kill me before I get to be that miserable and rotten or I will live that long and have love for everything that old age brings because of it.  I try to do that anyway but I will hopefully have an extra appreciation of what it’s like to be 70.

 

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