Great White Snark: The last person I met on the cruise (continued from last night's post).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The last person I met on the cruise (continued from last night's post).


The American Adventuress and her mother wandered the glittering marble and gilted hallway of the Floating City, stopping by the merchant's stands to admire their wares. The facets of glittering jewels caught the light, wide gazes and inquiring fingertips of all the ladies passing by. Rare gems and baubles, found only in or near the ocean, presented themselves in all the shades of turquoise and aquamarine. The girl left her mother taking in the silver clasps and teardrop pendants, wandering inside the actual shops beyond the stands.

More jewelry, clothing and necessities (real necessities, like medicine and toiletries) presented themselves. She walked slowly, taking everything in. She wandered from the textiles to the sundries and finally into a watch shop. The soft ticking of mechanical time-keepers whispered out from behind their glass enclosures. They were beautiful watches, not the cheap kind one can get any old place. Their faces were inlaid with diamonds and mother-of-pearl, and they were imported from such faraway places as Norway, Sweden and Germany, places renowned for their machinery and craftsmanship.

As she stood admiring one watch in particular, a lilting voice came from behing.

"Good evening, Miss," came the warm greeting, the unmistakable brogue of the British Isles tainting the words. She turned and noticed the young Watchmaker, brown eyes warm and gregarious.
"Good evening," she replied. "How're you?"
"Very well, and yourself?"
"Just fine, thank you."
"Looking for anything in particular?"
"No..." She damned her shyness. Conversation had always been trying for her. Especially with strangers. Especially strangers who were like something out of a book, who looked at her with eyes so like her own in color but entirely different from hers.
"Just passing the time, then?"
"Yes, I suppose so."
Luckily for the girl, salesmen and travelers excel at the art of conversation-making. He asked where she was from and she told him, returning the question. He was from Salisbury (famous for Stonehenge), answering the question of origin of his rich accent. Having suffered a severe case of Anglophilia for as long as she could remember, the girl drank in his words about home, probing further and wanting to know everything, all the insiginificant details and minutiae of his homeland. Time passed, and the girl recalled her mother. Politely, and with a smile and unspoken promise of a return visit, she parted company with the Watchmaker.

One watch and about four conversations later, she had the pleasure of watching the Watchmaker at his work. She'd never understood men and their tools. Her father and brother weren't the "handyman" sort at all. Neither were any of her male friends or previous conquests. However, seeing the Watchmaker carefully select a mallet of particular size and hammer out with both strength and enough delicacy to keep safe the fragile timepiece was like watching an artisan at his craft. All the while his lilting voice swept her away to as close an experience to London as she had ever had.

At long last, the voyage aboard the Floating City came to an end. Both she and the Watchmaker knew what they had wouldn't last; he was promised to a perfume girl from Australia, and the young traveler's youth and American origin would have made any prolonged contact impossible. With a warm shake of the hands, a touch on the arms and a fond farewell, the two parted ways, possibly forever. But the Adventuress smiles, checking the time and knowing that for at least a while, she'd known someone like a character out of the books she fills her head with, and the memory is locked safely away inside the watch she wears on her wrist.


See, everyone has a good story. It just depends on how you tell it. I could've been like, "So I met this cute guy from England on the boat who worked in a watch shop onboard and we may have flirted a little even though he had this Australian girlfriend who worked in the perfumery a few decks above. It was lame." Or I can weave the above story, almost all of which is true.

"I'm a writer. I give the truth scope."
-Geoffrey Chaucer, A Knight's Tale (the film, not the book)


  1. You weave a beautiful tale, my dear. One this fellow Anglophile can identify with. I'm so glad you got to meet such a literary fellow. And that you told us about it with such style. You have a talent, dear Glampirate. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

  2. I won't lie. I was thinking of you SO MUCH during all of this, because I know you GET IT. Also, I miss you. Let's rectify the problem with a day FULL of Glampirating. :D