Beautiful Bonnie

‘Covid saved us in a way,’ I tell Bonnie.

She passes me a side-eyed look from her chair. It’s so borderline to talk about the virus being anything but Machiavellian. It licks at your heels. A threat to movement, livelihood and lives. But for us right now, when I think we should have been home already – and instead we are in the best part of the Caribbean for our little scuba diving family – an island which we hadn’t even visited before. That wouldn’t have happened without you-know-what. I won’t say it.

There was no where else to go. Well, there was always Grenada. Cue Patrice’s French blow through his teeth. Ppffff. Like that. Grenada is for people who like the green jungle; if you have to divide people up this way. There’s nothing wrong with it. The volcanic earth of Grenada is a miracle. You can drop your finger in it and it would probably grow. We just prefer the clearest possible shade of blue. Quest are not jungle trekkers.

Bonnie and I sit at the huge, hardwood table in the classroom part of the dive shop. This table is the most impressive classroom table I’ve ever seen. Harbour Village is, after all, fancy. The huge span of dense, dark wood is a physical reminder of nearby South America. The mainland is close to us here, but we don’t physically see it. And it suits the conversation, because Bonnie and I are talking of travel.

‘Maybe you should be going home soon,’ Bonnie says. And I know when she says it, it isn’t an easy thing for her to say.

Not in an inflated way, that we are somehow indispensable, but because this is the nature of small places. They are so concentrated and yet sparse. We feel this on Questie too, though we are almost completely used to it now. The cold, hard fact is no one sticks around on a boat. Not good for co-dependency issues.

I love hanging out with Bonnie. You can tell her anything. She has that true nursing gift. Nothing is too disgusting, or off-limits. Although I am trying (again) not to pee in my wet suit so I don’t remind her of her old job in the hospital, when we come up from the dive. This is a difficult task – nothing like warming yourself up a little down there.

She says, ‘I was driving to work this morning, and I saw this girl who was Lu’s age, driving in her car with her friends. It made me think that Lu should be at home doing that too.’

I nod. The only saving grace is that Lu couldn’t be home doing that with lockdown right now anyway. And she’s also officially too young to drive.

Still, I get what Bonnie means.

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