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Valley Of The Shadow Of My Shower
by The Pirate
What wakes you up in the morning? I bet you all hate your alarm clocks, don’t you? I can hear everyone whining about how loud and annoying they are. I bet you all have a fucking snooze button and use it, repeatedly. You take your extra half hour of milk-toast dreams, ball-scratching and snoring in 5 minute shots, punctuated by a pathetic, little “beep, beep, beep” that sounds more like the last gasps of a dying baby chick than a real alarm clock and then you finally slide out of bed and go about your morning rituals, all in relative peace. Well, I’m pretty pissed off this morning as I sit down for my shift and thought I would tell you all about the Pirate’s morning ritual at sea.
Imagine you’re sleeping peacefully; dreaming of bath time with Valeria Mazza and Tyra Banks from the cover of the 1996 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition; the three of you sipping a spicy Multipulciano and eating smoked oysters on tiny crackers, topped with a slice of melted havarti cheese and a small sprig of fresh basil. (I need to stop here and mention that it was a surreal experience, photoshoping this image while listening to Jackie DeShannon singing Burt Bacharach’s What The World Needs Now Is Love)
Then imagine a 6'8" 290 pound skinhead biker walks up to your Bath Time Olympics and jabs a Philips-head screwdriver in your left eye just as Valeria is climbing on top to feed you the last oyster and…….You wake up, clutching your face covered in sweat to this:
You're laying inside a large steel box and some asshole is kneeling on top of it, chipping paint with a jackhammer. He pauses, and then smacks your steel box with a six-pound hand sledge. Not satisfied with the thought that he’s left you with a wilting hard on and a pounding headache, he fires up the dreaded needle gun…
I don’t know very much about needle guns. The only time I’ve ever observed one up close was on another boat where I found one laying around all alone on the back deck. I picked it, up turned over, then beat the fucking thing to death with a hammer and tossed it overboard. All I know is that it runs off high-pressure air and looks like a large gun with 50 long spikes, or needles sticking out of it. Satan and his minions wield it, chipping paint off the decks and hammer sleeping brain cells into so much oatmeal.
So there I am; wilting, head pounding and totally confused, standing inside the loudest metal box you can possibly imagine, unless you have actually been through this. Because it gets worse. Now I have to pee. This is maddeningly similar to pining your own hand to a wooden table with a Buck knife, right between the 3rd and 4th fucking metacarpals-BAM! I have to step from my large steel box of a cabin, into a smaller steel box that is my bathroom, or head. It is louder, much louder.
Somewhere in midstream, the noise will switch to a large grinder and I usually start screaming obscenities at the unseen asshole somewhere above my head, until I resign myself to the cold, hard fact that he can’t hear me and shake it off, mentally and literally. Now for the gauntlet, the penultimate torture and a true test of one’s mettle. I know I have a higher pain threshold than you. Any of you. Because I can take a shower in the morning.
My shower is the smallest and loudest steel box on the planet, haunted by the bent memories and psychotic shadows of those went before me and since I happen to believe that everyone deserving of damnation will find themselves in their own personal Hell; one not shared with the multitudes so they can commiserate with each other, I have, then, met mine and bested it. That’s right-Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of my shower, I will fear no evil because I am the baddest motherfucker in the shower.
The sound inside that moudly, yellow, seventh level of hell is felt more than heard. Yeah, your ears might bleed, but having the fillings rattled out of your head is more to the point. The pain? I used up my best analogy back at the pisser-sorry. I’ve already split my metacarpals with steel and I go with what I know. OK, try grabbing your upper lip and ripping it back over the top of your head and let me know how it feels. On a side note, I’ve witnessed a handful of births and 24 hours of labor looks a lot like the long version of my morning shower, so I guess mothers can relate.
You can imagine that showers onboard are short and scarce and that also might explain why the companionway smells like the inside of someone’s colon. Hmmm.
The whole point of this is that to a certain extant, this defines me as a person. When the sales idiot at Office Max offers to help me and then attempts to answer my question on portable hard-drives by reading off of the box and I rip it out of his hand, telling him to go jerk off somewhere else, it’s not because I’m just an ornery bastard-I’m just having a shower flashback. When I finally hit the beach after a month or two at sea and drink enough vodka to float a battleship, I’m just smoothing out the rough edges. This is why I have a few screws loose upstairs and why one of the greatest pleasures in my life is a nice long, QUIET shower when I get home.
Anyway, that’s what I endure every morning for half of my life, so I can spend the other half laying on the couch in my boxers, drinking Baileys and coffee till noon wondering how the office dicks are enjoying their Monday mornings.
What’s your morning like?