Sunday, August 28, 2011

Entry 153 8.29.11

Entry 153, August 29th, 2011, 2:08am (GMT +2)

In Palma de Mallorca, we dock at the far pier from the city. It's a concrete pier that stretches out from the point and circles around the bay, served as both a series of berths and a breakwater. There's a path around from the ship to the sea side of the breakwater, where huge blocks of concrete have been scattered to break up the waves. This is where I spent the afternoon, jumping from rough cube to cube under the burning Spanish sun.

I came there seeking a bit of solitude. When you live with three thousand people in a nine story building on the ocean, there is no privacy. Even your neighbors know when you're on the toilet, and your boss lives three doors down the hallway. The only way to get some privacy is to get off the ship, and for a person like me who needs to be away from people to recharge this shore time becomes vital. The breakwater in Palma is deserted, which is perfect. Not a sound can be heard except for the waves crashing against stone and the stray airplane.

Usually I just sit and think, but today I was feeling a little more active. Many of the huge square blocks are set at weird angles and are surrounded by water, which makes getting to them a challenge. I
discovered that jumping from block to block is great fun . . . I knew all those years of playing platformers would pay off in the end. At one point I leapt out to a rock that was on the edge of the ocean. It was quite a feeling, standing on this little island of concrete in the middle of the blue . . . but then I turned around and realized I had no idea how I was going to get back to shore. The block I had come from was slanted towards me, and was much further away over the water than I had thought.

Trying to swim back through the breakwater's jagged stones would be suicide, I had to jump for it. I got as much room on the rock as I could, took three steps and then flung myself out over the ocean, hoping to make as much contact with the rock as possible (more surface area = more friction = David lives to write more blog posts). If I fell, I'd probably get sucked under the monster by the waves and get my
brains dashed out on the jagged stone. The edge of the block struck me at the waist, knocking the wind out of me and leaving my entire upper body and arms splayed out along the 45 degree surface of stone
while my toes dipped in the trough of a wave below. After one desperate moment, I was able to get a leg up on it as well, and as my sandal found a grip I pulled myself onto the rock. Result: two bloody palms and a jagged cut on my leg, but nothing broken. Nothing worse than what I got on the playground in elementary school, really.

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