Thursday, June 01, 2006

Morbid Thoughts

I read THIS yesterday, and it kind of freaked me out a little.

You see, the Carnival Legend was the very ship that I sailed on 2 weeks ago. Even freakier than that, the guy who killed himself was in one of the groups of passengers that boarded the ship as we disembarked, as he was on the next voyage after ours. Even freakier still, is that we have a friend who had told us a few months ago that she had also booked a trip on the Carnival Legend, but her trip was “soon after” ours. After reading this story, and watching it on the nightly news, I decided to call our friend up and, wouldn’t you know it, she WAS on the ship when this happened.

How “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon” is that?

She said the rest of the trip was kind of surreal. The party atmosphere was sucked right out of the rest of the cruise. People tried to still move past it and enjoy themselves, but most of the cruisers walked around in an expressionless funk for the rest of the trip.

I think what freaks me out about this story more than anything is that, I have a feeling I know where this man committed suicide. I’m pretty sure I stood on that same spot.

You see, when I detailed my trip for ya’ll a few weeks ago, there was one part of my daily rituals that I didn’t mention (mostly because it was pretty boring and introspective).

I HAD mentioned that I completely explored the ship on the first few nights. What I HADN’T mentioned was that on the first night of the cruise, I had found a small section waaaaay up on the 10th deck, at the rear of the boat, where there was an unusually low fence separating me from, well, nothingness really.

I kept getting drawn back to that spot, to gaze out over the water. Before I went to bed each night, I would stroll on up to Deck 10 and stand at that spot, looking at the water churn furiously about the engines. Standing there looking out at the stars, it would freak me out because, except for the immediate glow of lights surrounding the boat, we were enveloped in an almost complete aura of blackness. There was literally NOTHING that could be seen once my eyes wandered more than 30 feet away from the churning waves.

I made myself shiver thinking, “This fence is really low here. It would be so easy to just climb over it and launch myself into those waves.” It was even scarier to think that, if I DID jump in, within about 30 seconds, the fast-moving ship would be long gone, leaving me in a cold sea of blackness. I remember thinking that there was no way a rescue attempt could find ANYONE in all that.

It's frightening to think now that someone actually went and DID just that. And after 18 hours of desperate circling and searching, the end result is exactly what I hypothetically knew it HAD to be.

Death.

What an absolutely horrible way to die. I can’t imagine what kind of mindset someone would have be in to do that to themselves, but the whole situation depresses me more than I would have thought.

What if I was angry, or depressed, or generally at the end of my rope in life when I had discovered that spot?

Would that have been ME out there, alone in the blackness? How much different am I (or anyone, really), from that poor man?

It’s thoughts like that that keep me up at night.

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