C6FV8’s 90,000 tons of displacement , pulled back from St. Thomas promptly at 5.30 p.m. yesterday, extracting money from the passengers immediately began. It’s only 40 nautical miles or so to the next destination and Northrop Grumman’s advanced state-of-the-art integrated bridge system otherwise known as IBS, has full control of the ship. It will chirp periodically during the night, requiring the on-duty officer to acknowledge someone is alive and “kicking” on the bridge, but otherwise IBS will make all the decisions.

On a cruise, you expect the ship to be moving. With 10 way points programmed in, C6FV8 will make a leisurely zig-zag  8 knots to St. Croix halting at 3 a.m. a few miles off the port where it will stop and bob about until morning, saving energy as the first watch crew takes over.

My baby is gone and despite knowing almost precisely where he is, the thought of limited communication is killing me. But I have other worries. I need to straighten out a few things and best to have the tiger in a safe location. Safe from other predators that is. His ship is always moving, so no overnights in port, which means no overnight temptations.

I am about to scream dealing with my new ‘friend’ the 30’s black professional on our event group. He only wants the ‘right’ people in the group. Right, according to him, is no queens, twinks, drug users, whores, HIV+, and anyone he’s ever slept with. Basically this means excluding 98% of the available population.

It provides prospective to me though. He’s a hardened middle aged queer, a small gaggle of friends, a story about each one of their tastes, a notebook filled with things he wants from someone, an even longer list of things he doesn’t. He has painted himself into a corner but doesn’t realize the paint has already dried. Telling himself daily, he doesn’t need anyone, but falling asleep each night wishing someone were there.

I realize I need to carefully watch my own behaviour in the coming months. It will be a defining period and it’s an awkward balance to maintain.