Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Airplane of the Sea

If you never thought dead stingrays were beautiful talk to me. If you think that the French own the deed to the language of love title then talk to someone else because we can't be friends.

One of our first days in the Republica Dominica we were walking along the dock in the town of Luperon. We'd just arrived and my Spanish was on a three year olds level (literally the dogs new more Spanish than me) but still, I couldn't resist the urge to ask people questions to talk to strangers and say, "Why are you riding a tricycle dressed up like a giant red penguin." Because as a newcomer I'd like to know that this is how one sells ice cream in the DR. And as we're walking along the water an old man was pushing an equally as old bicycle. Along each side of the back tire were baskets which held two triangle shaped objects. They looked like wings the color of sand but were clearly flesh. There was a small hole punched through each wing in which the man ran twine to secure them to the baskets.I knew they were stingrays but I had to ask.

"Que es?" I said.
His response I will never forget, "el Avion de el Mar"
Ahh Bonita! Take that France. If you've ever seen stingray swim a more perfect way to say stingray does not exist. I no longer call them stingrays, from now on they are "el Avion de el Mar."

*****

When you're at sea for five days like a long car ride you and the other passengers come up with games to pass the time. One day in the middle of the Caribbean, sailing from Samana, Republica Dominicana to Aruba as the sun gave way and Mr. Moon began his watch of the earth Anna and I played "Would You Rather?"

"Would you rather be a llama or camel" she asked. I chose llama.
These type of questions reframed went back and forth between us for thirty minutes.
"Would you rather be able to read people's minds or would you rather glow?" I asked.

Anna thought, she bit her lip and looked at the ocean and looked back at me and then she said, "I....I would rather glow." she said. "mmmhhh," she reaffirmed, "I would rather glow."

At this we laughed hard for ten minutes as we repeated the line and how both weird and funny it sounded. We laughed because Anna chose glowing over knowing people's thoughts. and we looked at each knowing that this was a conversation that probably never comes up among most people much less sailors in the middle of an ocean and one that was representative of our typical dialogue.

The rest of the night we didn't say much. Occasionally we'd laugh and say, "I would rather glow." Then things would get quiet, we were moving along, Desdemona was sailing well we had long sleeve shirts on because of the cool breeze and warm sun tanned skin. It was comfortable in the Caribbean everything was like "el Avion de el Mar."

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