the other day, the addict had a relapse...

i had three hours of sleep on the balcony the night before.

traffic rerouted my bus the long way around the island in the morning.

the winds were strong and captain was in a bad mood and my hands were on fire with rope burn by noon.

all I wanted was cold coffee. both to boost my energy and to extinguish the burning blisters on my palms.

so when I found out we didn't have time for a lunch break in between trips, i almost teared up a little. not for the coffee I couldn't have, but for all the things before it that sweet caffeine would help me forget.

when the second trip started, i passed out snorkel gear and hid behind the bar so that i could mull over the embarrassment of our last docking experience in solitude. but when a young couple approached me asking for drinks, i was forced to put on a smile and make small talk.

small talk soon turned into conversation about the things i miss about the states. "i think a starbucks would be really successful here. everyone would flock to it... i'd personally kill for starbucks right now." the woman i was saying this to promptly just turned and walked away. did i scare her? i guess that was a pretty intense statement.

a minute later she returned with packets of starbucks via (instant coffee). my first reaction was to cradle it to my chest like a lost child. "THANK YOU SO MUCH." my mood went from maybe i should give up on people and just jump off this moving boat to live with the fishies to i'm gonna lead the best snorkel tour for these beautiful people within about two sips.

later on, as if i wasn't grateful enough already, this same woman came up to me and said, "yanno, there IS a starbucks on our ship... if you don't have another trip after this, we could run up, get you something, and bring it back down to the dock."

WHAT. i hugged her and her husband. i convinced my captain to stay on the dock. jordan and i put in our orders and giggled like children as we waited.

and then we waited. and waited some more. captain started to lose sympathy for our starbucks needs and told us we couldn't wait any longer. he ordered jordan to spring us off the dock. i stood at the stern all the while, staring at the people spilling out of the cruise ship gates, hoping i'd spot our starbucks angels just in time.

just as jordan took off the bow line and hopped on, releasing us from the dock, i spotted them! i raised my hands in the air. "THERE THEY ARE!" the couple noticed we were drifting away from the dock and started running full speed with big venti cups in their hands.

i gave captain tom my best puppy eyes and he agreed to put the catamaran back on the dock just long enough for us to run toward our starbucks angels, HUG them, and stick our straws in our frapps. we untied the lines and screamed thank-you's over and over again until we were out of ear shot.

we motored through the harbor slurping up something so familiar that for just a moment i couldn't feel my burning palms or salty hair or achey bones or sun-dried skin. the little inconveniences that are common on this island escaped me. that raspberry mocha was altogether soothing and exciting and dare i say a little therapeutic.

so naturally, amber and i have resolved that we should harass all royal caribbean passengers to go fetch us a starbucks in place of a tip. because some little things are just priceless.