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Carol Perkins: A pretend cruise to Hawaii

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By Carol Perkins

The fire is roaring in the fireplace; I'm drinking my coffee, closing my eyes, and thinking. I do that best with my coffee. A story appears. I heard Guy opening the towel closet in the hall bathroom, so I yelled, "Hey, Guy, let's pretend." He steps into the hallway about thirty feet from me and I begin. "Let's pretend it's Christmas Day, and we just landed in LA to board a ship to Hawaii."

"I'm liking this so far," he said, "but why Christmas Day?" Do I have to explain this pretend story?

"No one flies on Christmas Day."

"Got it. Ok, go ahead."

"We board the ship with our vaccination cards and our masks," I said, visualizing going up the gangplank and standing in line for the traditional boarding picture, only this time there will be no line and I won't look fat.

"If you're pretending, we won't need a card or the masks." He is so clever!

"Great! So, we go to our rooms and then head for the buffet." I have lived fifty-four years with a man who, once fed, more willingly engages in my shenanigans. "Then we go to the top deck for the sailing party."

"I don't remember ever doing that. I think we watched it from the balcony in our room."

"Ok, we'll skip that part. So... after we set sail, we'll go to the piano bar and watch the dancers, but this time we'll dance, too." He reminded me that he doesn't dance, at which time I reminded him we were pretending.

"I won't wear one of those matching suits we saw on those old people the last time we took a cruise." He was referring to matching parachute suits several couples wore.

"The next morning," I continued, "you'll take your daily walk, and I'll hobble to the sun deck, find a chair in the shade, read a book, and relax."

"If this is "pretend," you won't be hobbling." I smiled. "Then I guess I've pretended we're on a ship headed for heaven."

"Hawaii is close to heaven."

"Hmm, I think maybe I'll hobble a little longer and keep the masks handy for a few more years, at least."

"Are we through pretending now?" He turned to the shower, and I began a new story in my head as I held my coffee, closed my eyes, and listened to the crackle of the fire.

You can contact Carol at

This story was posted on 2021-12-24 09:02:28
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