Friday, July 30, 2010

Seasickness--by Mikki

It's funny, but even when you live by the ocean, sometimes you don't really understand its power. Even in St. John's, where the rain seems to come directly from the sea, even smelling of salt, it never occurred to me what travelling by boat could mean. When I went aboard the Barabaree, I was thinking of the boat as a way to get somewhere--like taking the school bus uptown. I wasn't really thinking about what it meant to feel the ocean around me--and since I stowed away in the hold, it wasn't just below me--I could feel it pressing on the sides of the ship. I could feel the ship resisting, and shuddering as it reached the crest of a wave, hesitated, then plunged into the following trough, only to do it all again. And again, endlessly.

I have never been so sick in my life. Not when I ate three ice creams (chocolate, ginger AND grape nut) last summer, not even when I had the stomach flu. Mrs. Pete said it had something to do with the inner ear and the way we balance, but I felt it in my head and stomach--a twisty, foul feeling that just got deeper and deeper, worse and worse. Thank goodness for the tonic! It set me right again--I felt human instead of like some poor, sick, uncomprehending animal. I could think again, and when the Barbaree was about to come to grief, I could do something about it, something to help.

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