“Yeah, this is pretty boring,” Dan said to Jason.
“Fucking booze cruise.”
Neither of the boys drank. Not because of religion or righteousness, simply because they knew it tasted disgusting and preferred to treat their bodies nicely.
“Over there somewhere, I think.” Dan pointed to the far side of the ship's top deck. Beyond his pointed index finger, past the well-worn college youths and their elder, fiercer predators, a tall manic was visible. Jake was almost sent home the previous day for the handle of vodka that was found on him, empty, after a day of touring the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem. He did the tango in the Church of St. John the Baptist, and then passed out cold in the Monastery of Constantine. Currently, he was enjoying the company of two dark-haired females, one had bare feet and the other had a light moustache.
“The music's decent,” Dan said with a straight face. Jason laughed.
“Let's take our clothes off and dance like assholes.”
Dan and Jason took their clothes off and began to mix elements of hip hop with writhing, rhythmic spasms. Jake caught their eye and immediately stripped down to his boxers. A circle of amused locals enclosed the boys and brought the evil eye of administration upon them.
“Jake, what the fuck do you think you're doing?” said the buzz-killing group leader, Megan.
“Dan and Jason are doing it, too!”
Megan looked over at Dan and Jason and thought to herself, those boys never seem to have any fucking fun. What do I do about this?
“If you offend a single person here, Jake, I swear to god, I will kill you. You probably already have, but as soon as it becomes my problem, you're dead.” With that, she turned her back on them, sat promptly at the bar, and took a shot of tequila. The harsh ass-grinding music sounded sweeter to her, and she was proud of herself and her job.
Jason walked to the mast of the ship and pressed both hands down on a railing. He stuck his ass out and wagged it back and forth to the beat. Dan watched Jake vomit over the side of the ship.
“Don't waste that!” Dan said.
“I never do.”
“You know what I can't stand?”
“Small talk. Probably cause I suck ass at it.”
“Aw, sweetie! You're not terrible. What makes you think you're so terrible at socializing?”
“Earlier today I asked some girl what she was majoring in. She said sociology. I said, 'Doesn't that whole science, if you can call it that, disregard free will? Does that scare you at all?'”
“What'd she say, then?”
“She didn't say much. I mean she said some neutral stuff. Then I said, to try to smooth the whole thing over, I said, 'I mean, if you believe in deterministic philosophy and what you choose in every decision you'll ever make is decided by everything that happened before, then understanding the main superstructure that governs everything about our lives, in the immediate sense, is very useful. So... sociology is a practical science?'”
“Is that even a fucking question you can ask?”
“What the fuck, Dan! You should have just said, 'How do you feel about the fact that we're all going to die soon?'” Jason chimed in.
“Yeah, or, 'Ya know, here's something to think about: everyone you love, you can never really be close to. You can only try. And then you'll just die anyway, and it'll be like never knowing anybody. Weird, huh?'”
Dan smiled despite shivering a little bit from the sea winds and his absence of clothing. Jake wiped his mouth one more time with his wrist and straightened up. Jason finally stopped gyrating in a way that compromised the ship's structural integrity, and together the three of them walked back into the mess.