Sunday, September 03, 2006

Still Waters?

I flip through the catalog for Uniworld, dreaming of a river cruise. I’d be happy on any of the offered trips. (As destinations go, I’m not picky, although if the trip is going to last for more than, say, three or four days, indoor plumbing is a must.) This service seems unique, somewhat off the beaten path. Usually when I think of cruises I picture a floating circus and immigrant workers being exploited with the goal of my satisfaction and pleasure.
While I can’t attest for the working conditions at Uniworld, the boats themselves (yes, boats – they do not look like ships) convey none of that sense of overwhelmed-ness. On the contrary, they appear intimate, private. The shared glance between lovers in a crowded room.
Yes, the environment looks lovely, and the food looks divine.
But what of the passengers? A growing sense of dismay creeps over me as I notice that almost to a person, the women look like clones of each other, extending across the lifespan.
Short sensible hair. Loafers. Wardrobe from Chicos (or, for the more adventurous, perhaps Anthropologie). Blank, and most assuredly fake smiles. Did I mention loafers?
I wonder what kinds of things these women think about. Is there passion? Lust? (for the man, or even life itself?) Is the Perfect Storm raging about behind the façade of Lake Placid, as is the case for me?
I wonder how out of place I would feel in this lovely intimate environment surrounded by women with whom on the surface anyway, it would appear as if we would have nothing to talk about, no common ground.
I think I would order room service a lot, and explore, and flirt with the staff. Always have a Plan B. Try to ensure that it includes some measure of spontaneity.


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