Bruce Cruising


He walked out slow onto the Promenade Level, just below the Seaview Bistro where the smell of cracked crab and butterfly shrimp floated down and fed the hunger in his stomach. He looked to the sky to see the Caribbean sun showing off, making shine like assembly line, keeping time with the ship as she rocked strong through the waters. The SS Liberty out of Port Canaveral, with stops at Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay & Costa Maya, keeping her brochure’s promise of luxurious grace over unspoiled ocean.

Bruce strode slow along the deck, his khaki shorts blowing in the warm breeze, his pink Izod dotted with sea spray, taking in the endless horizon before him as the ship sailed silky round the corners of the map. Sometimes a man just needs to get away.

He took a step to his left where an elderly woman stood at the rails, wearing a sun hat so big it was picked up by NORAD. Her bracelets hung around her bony wrists, her face was peppered with liver spots, and she struck up a conversation with Bruce as the ship gently swayed. The old woman’s name was Mona: she was 72, Jewish, & her husband had died the year before. Bruce listened, patient, ask her how she liked the restaurants on board.

Mona gulped: "So much food! It's like a smorgasbord!"

"I know, right?" Mona was small, so it was easy for Bruce to lift her up and dump her overboard. He waited for the splash while her sun hat surfed away to paradise.

Frank had just come from the duty-free shop and stopped for a minute to take in the view. As he placed his shopping bag on the deck Bruce sidled over to say hello. It turned out Frank was retired military and enjoying this cruise with his wife. He cheerfully informed Bruce that he was "seventy-four years young," but he looked even younger than that in his white mustache, short pants and black socks. He started to tell Bruce about the magic show he had seen on board last night.

“And I’m telling you… that dove was not there before he opened the box.”

Bruce bent and wrapped his arm around Frank’s ankles, low enough to lift him clean and toss him off the ship. Splash. Frank surfaced and Bruce heard his "Man overbo-!!!" as the boat said goodbye to the former green beret. He dropped Frank’s shopping bag in the water after him- it would be wrong to take something that doesn’t belong to you.

Betty was born 82 years ago today, and she looked sexy in her stylish power chair, beeping backwards down the handicap ramp, rolling over to the ledge to get some much-needed sun. Bruce smiled when he saw her: she reminded him of his Nana. He plunked her into the ocean, her cumbersome chair right afterwards.

There was something romantic to Bruce about the grandiosity of sea travel: the scope of the ship, the size, as it aggressively defied the most powerful force of nature with the help of reciprocating diesels. Pat and Helene were a married couple, 76 and 79, and Bruce lifted them and tossed them into the ocean as easy as you toss your keys to a valet parker.

Splish! And then 'splash.'

The smell of the salt air... the lurching of the ship that he could feel in his stomach. It was wonderful to be alive, to feel life this wonderful and sweet.

The PA system crackled to life: "Attention, please, this is the Captain. Would the person throwing elderly passengers overboard PLEASE stop immediately. Sorry for the interruption."

Bruce smiled as a wrinkled senior with a cane walked by. Maybe just one more before lunch.


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