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Catherine Dodd Corona

Shipping Out

Mimicking Wallace

Progymnasmata: Fable

I have never stepped foot on a cruise ship. I have rode the ferry to Haines, Alaska, a less popular cruise ship destination. I have collected mussels on the shore and watched people file out of a cruise ship. I have seen them look like a bird about to take flight, at the rim of the ridged mountains. I have watched them shop for chachkies, silicon magnets so they can place it on the refrigerator back home and be reminded of the special break they took. I have helped find the right size Xtratuf boot, the guides say rain boots won’t cut it. I have seen them point digital cameras at the ten eagles sitting on one tree. I have felt their fear as my dad explains how cold the water is. If you fall in you can swim for five minutes or go into fetal possession for 45 and hope someone gets you before hypothermia. I have seen them distinguish themselves from one another as the raft threads its way through glacial rivers. I have admired their ability to work together to lift the boat out of sand traps. I have giggled at the less ambitious passengers complaining about the cold, or the minimal paddle work. I have observed one paddle from an ignorant passenger make much more work for the oar-man by leaving it in the water. I have cheered people stiff from the small cabin sizes, pick up a boat and rest it back in the water. I have seen people pet a porcupine, feed a moose with their mouth, and watch rehabilitated Lynx and bears smell their foreign scent. I have picked up their litter and picked blueberries with them. I have never been a cruise ship passenger. I find cramping myself into a materialistic, consumption heavy boat with hundreds of other people unfavorable. I find many of the people that do, curious, kind and respectful but of course in any sample of people that big many are awful, demanding and disrespectful.

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