Thursday, April 03, 2003


I technically lied about not kissing Kate.

My first night aboard the cruise ship I was having difficulty sleeping. It may have been the rocking of the boat, the strange part-man, part-animal, part-machine noises that echoed through the labrynth of corridors where time has no meaning, or maybe I just wasn't used to sleeping in a bed anymore after two nights of sleeping under my trusty bench.

So it's my first night aboard the cruise ship and I'm having difficulty sleeping. I'm lolling about my tiny bunk in a stuporous half-sleep when I clearly hear in my head Phill's instructions to me before I left: "Gurg, give Kate a big hug and kiss for me." I had agreed, of course, in that way that you promise someone that you will say "Hello" for them while knowing perfectly well that on the off-chance you actually remember, you may be too cool at that moment to actually relay the sentiment.

But I had remembered. I had said "Hello" and given her a big hug. I hadn't kissed her for reasons that may be obvious to any person that is not Phill. But now, when the No Man's Land of the mind (that all thoughts must cross in order to become an action) is at its least patrolled, I was remembering what I had promised Phill.

So I stumble out of my bunk, stumble some more just trying to stand up straight (either the ship was really rocking or I was standing on my luggage.) I pulled myself up so that I was standing on my bunk and could reach the top bunk where Kate was sleeping, and kissed her for Phill. I remember getting a face-full of blanket, so I didn't think it ranked as one of the greatest kisses of all time unless there is a separate category for linen. Pleased with myself for having completed my mission, I focused my attention on getting back into my bed. It was a bit more difficult to find it than it should have been considering I was already standing on it. I found it, nestled in, and curled up to go to sleep.

Whereupon I became completely awake. Have you ever been trying to get yourself up out of bed and then imagined you took a shower, got dressed, ate breakfast even, only to become shocked to find that you are still in bed under the covers? This was similar. I frantically tried to figure out if I had actually kissed Kate, or had just been dreaming about kissing Kate. I fell back asleep, a bit more warily, sure only that neither answer was very encouraging.

So I had kissed her. I didn't remember it right away, but something reminded me and I told her what I thought had happened. She said, "I was wondering what the heck you were doing." She had been half-asleep as well and didn't remember anything about it clearly, only that I had been bumbling around in the dark. We laughed about it then, mostly because my nocturnal antics are not unheard of. Like the time I was dreaming that I was in a fight and actually began punching her (not hard at all, she exaggerates.)

The moral of the story is: I'm a man of my word, particularly when unconscious.