Preferred Perception

to create reality is life's purpose – lessons from Nowheim

CM & CCC Cruising

Second Episode

 A cruise from a Capricious Monkey’s and a Carefree, Connected Cat’s perspective

CM-CCC Cruising

“We are going on a cruise! We are going on a cruise!” CM was fired up. She kept telling herself that this was exciting and wonderful news. Exciting it was, but wonderful? When she stopped jumping up and down, she couldn’t help but think about what could happen on a cruise. The ship could sink; they could be put under quarantine; they could all get food poisoning; she could turn out to be the odd one out. The more she thought about possible complications the more popped up in her mind.  So, she tried to drown all the ‘buts’ by shouting out her joy. She had to convince herself that this cruise was the best news. Unfortunately, the ‘buts’ seemed to be pretty good swimmers.

“You really are a capricious monkey, CM. Your name is perfect for you.” CCC had come in from a stroll in the neighborhood. He never understood why CM always made such a big fuss about everything. Life was too much fun to waste any thoughts on potential disasters. Besides, what CM called disasters were merely some little rocks on the path. He had told her many times to just walk around them, but teaching an old dog new tricks was easier than getting this monkey to relax.

CM could not listen to him anymore. She wanted to think that he was right, but she also felt that she was the realistic one. She was the one who thought ahead and took care to prevent accidents from happening. She had an eye for potential dangers and was proud to be so proactive. There! She was not irrational! She was just weighing possibilities. The hurricanes and the sharks were not so easily put to rest. They came right back to circle in CM’s mind. What was a little monkey to do? She picked up the phone to call her friend. She had to talk to somebody more reasonable than CCC. He left her alone. If she wanted to fuss, there was nothing he could do about it.

CCC liked his name: Carefree Connected Cat. Yes, he was mostly carefree and proud of it. Whoever had given him that name had hit the nail on the head. Carefree was the way to be. But why connected? What was so special about being connected? He assumed it meant he was connected with who he really was, with his divine source. Wasn’t everybody? Who or whatever his true self was, he or it certainly took good care of him. He decided to take a nap and dream of the beautiful ship they were going to board a week later. With a content purr he sailed off into the sunset. He saw himself and CM as they arrived at the pier just a minute before the gates were closed. It was perfect timing. A steward welcomed them and told them that there had been a mix-up with the passenger list and that they had been upgraded to an outside room with balcony. When they sailed out into the open sea, the ship started to gently move up and down. He felt being rocked like a baby and slipped into the next level of sleep with a smile on his face.

He stretched and yawned and felt refreshed when he woke up. For a moment, he had to think: had they just come back from the cruise or was it still ahead? When he thought or, even more so, when he dreamed of something he anticipated, it always felt very real. It wouldn’t matter if his dream did not come true after all because he had already ‘tasted’ it; he had already experienced how it would feel when it would come true. But usually everything did manifest just as he had imagined it or even better. Now it was all quiet in the house. CM had mentioned that she wanted to go buy some clothes so she would better fit in with the other passengers. She had read that there were dress codes for meal times on cruise ships. That was probably where she was: shopping.

 

The week had passed quickly, and they were on their way to Grandport to board the ship.

“Did you turn off the stove?” he asked.

“Yes, I did. And I also set the thermostat higher. I gave the key to the neighbors in case something happens and they need to get into the house.” She went on and on about all the things she had done to make sure that they would not come back to a catastrophe.

“Good thinking. So, are you excited?”

“Of course, I am excited. I have been doing nothing but getting things ready for the trip.”

“Yeah, I mean are you excited about the trip? You sound like you are more excited about all the precautions you have taken.”

“Well, you didn’t take care of it.”

“I know. It’s great that you got everything done, but can we now leave that behind us for the next week? Can we actually enjoy the cruise now?”

“Yes, you are right. Everything should be OK at home, and if something should happen, the neighbors will have the key.” He bit his tongue as not to drag the subject on. He was not willing to ruin the trip with worries about things that might happen.

They arrived just one minute before the gate was closed. CM hated being late or arriving last minute. They always seemed to jump on the departing train with their tongues hanging out of their mouths. That was not her idea of a relaxing trip. When they boarded the ship, a very apologetic steward asked them to follow him into the office. What was wrong now? He explained that there had been a mix-up with the passenger list and that their room was double booked by mistake. CM was almost in tears and ready to turn around and drive home. Then the steward told them that they had been upgraded and he hoped they would accept his apology. With a sheepish smile she followed CCC and the steward to their room. All was well after all. Their luggage was already waiting for them.

“Look, Ms. scaredy-monk Monkey, how about this? This is regal.”

“It sure is. I love it. I love it. And to think that we paid only for the cheapest room on board.” Their new room turned out to be a luxury outside suite with a balcony.

“Yeah, I actually dreamed that we’d end up like this.”

“Right. You always dream stuff like this. Or at least you claim you dreamed it – after the fact.” She was reluctant to admit that things usually turned out as he had envisioned them or better. Where did he get his confidence? She envied him for that skill. He got to experience all the good things twice while she had to keep her head out of the clouds and stand with at least two feet on the ground. They went outside when the ship left the harbor and watched Grandport shrink in front of their eyes.

“Why are we so different?” CM leaned her head on his shoulder.

“Because we choose to.”

“And how come we are still together?”

“I guess there is always more than one component in a couple, just like in each individual person. And they attract each other and complement each other.”

“Do you mean that I, as an individual, have a split personality?”

“That sounds so negative. But yes, you have your cat moments, and I have my monkey moments. Only, I choose to be dominantly carefree and connected, and you choose to worry and plan and second guess most of the time. Your thoughts and feelings are all over the place, just like a monkey, swinging from branch to branch.” She looked at him with questioning eyes.

“But guess what. We attract in each other only the side that fits our own expectations. I like it that you want to take care of things and that you want to look after me. And I watch your brain acrobatics from a distance and with amusement.” That may not have been the best choice of words. Her look changed from questioning to interrogating.

“Admit it. You wouldn’t be happy if I were like you and wouldn’t ‘need’ your help.” She sighed and wrapped her arms around him. He was such a smooth talker. He would be lost without her, and he was lucky to have her. As they passed under the bridge and out into the open sea, they felt a slight rolling and rocking. CCC closed his eyes and enjoyed the motion while CM’s grip around his waist got tighter.

“You know. I wonder why our suite was not booked. Maybe we should have checked this cruise line out some more. Maybe smart people know better than to travel with this one.” CCC ignored her musing. He was listening to the sounds of the wind, the birds and other passengers’ voices. Ah, let the cruise begin.

“I also wonder what else they are capable of messing up. I just hope it’s not something that has to do with our safety.” Finally she fell silent. She knew that CCC had not heard a word she had just said. Maybe she did worry too much, but sometimes it irritated her that he didn’t want to acknowledge problems she could clearly foresee.

 

They had been back from their cruise for a few days when they ran into their friends at the corner bar.

“How was your cruise?”

“Just wonderful,” CCC said

“OK,” CM said.

“You two sound like you went on different cruises.”

“Yes, you might think that. The weather on my cruise was perfect, not too hot, not too cold. The sea gently rocked us like kangaroo babies in their mother’s pouch. I felt sorry for CM though. She got motion sick. But there was really nothing I could do for her, and she wanted to be left alone anyway. So, I even got out of dancing…” he grinned. “…and the food! It was out of this world. Look, I even put on a pound or two.”

“Right, and I didn’t put any pounds on because I was too sick to pig out like he did.”

“You are not complaining that you didn’t gain weight, are you?”

“Well, no.”

“And you weren’t sick when we went on excursions on land.”

My cruise was cool and windy and rocky. So, there you have my opinion.”

CCC pulled an envelope out of his pocket. They had just picked up the prints of their cruise photos and hadn’t even looked at them yet. He spread them out on the table, and four heads moved in. He picked one out and held it up.

“Look at this one. This is my pretend sick monkey. May I draw your attention to the cocktail glass in her hand?” The friends had to laugh and looked at CM, waiting for her reaction.

“Ugh, I wasn’t sick all the time. That was actually a very nice afternoon.”

“Yes, and look at this one. Here she is watching the whales. Doesn’t she look ‘miserable’?”

“OK, OK, it wasn’t all bad. Let me look at that one. Remember how we laughed so hard I almost fell over?” CCC grinned contently and let her pick out more photos and remember many more happy moments.

“Oh, I get what you are doing.” She suddenly understood that it all depended on what she’d focus on. “Hm, I think I want to revise my verdict. The cruise was just wonderful.”

“And the house didn’t burn down either.” He ducked to escape her playful slap.

“Don’t push it.”

“I mean thanks to your precautions.”

CM beamed. She realized that she too got to enjoy the cruise twice now.

© 2010 Wilma Reiber