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Post details: We all live in a yellow submarine

We all live in a yellow submarine

This planet has an extra planet hidden within it. But you won't find it in a school atlas. It lurks deep inside the Earth's trunk. Kind of like a spare tire, in case we mess things up too much.

Stretching over two thirds of the globe's surface, the ocean is a self-contained world uncorrupted by man. No pyramid schemes to sucker unsuspecting plankton into. No bouts of anger if your offspring didn't quite make a private schools of fish. No hoodlums loitering in deep sea alleys. No agents trying to sell you wave insurance. No greedy barracudas. No duplicitous sharks. No fish too big to swallow. It is a pristine world, preserved just as it was created by God. It even provides affordable housing without subprime mortgages of any kind - although some marine economists do harbor worries that up to 100% of coral reef real estate may currently be under water. But imagine the diet! All you can eat sea food bar 24/7. It doesn't get any healthier than that.

I have never been in a submarine, so when I was loafing around the island of Cozumel this Thanksgiving and saw an Atlantis submarine dock, I could not resist temptation to embark on a little adventure. It wasn't quite 20,000 leagues under the sea, but the ensuing magical mystery tour was worth every little penny they asked for it. And since the submarine allegedly cost $4.5 million, they did ask a lot. Had I melted all those hypothetical pennies together, I would have gotten enough copper to assemble a Navy grade high-current dynamo.

The first order of business before the departure was a cautionary lecture about the magnitude of underwater pressure which was clearly sufficient to flatten a shot put ball into a giant cookie tray. When we were finished listening to the engrossing safety drill, a commanding suntanned operator herded us onto sleek looking Santa Anna which then ferried us to the dive site. The sea was unusually boisterous, so crossing from the boat to the submarine resembled changing horses in full gallop. Several balance impaired passengers had to use all the available railing to negotiate the bucking gangplank. But once we descended a narrow ladder into the interior of a cylindrical vessel, we felt we had just passed through the eye of a Star Gate. All of a sudden, everything was cosmically quiet.

Captain flipped on bunch of switches and soon we submerged into an alluring chiaroscuro. We have entered the other planet, the world ruled by different laws than our own. The Universe where elongated shapes laugh at the face of gravity and where elegance is a mode of being rather than a fashion statement. When our eyes adjusted we could admire the mushy textures of underwater plants, the permeating undulation of the surrounding medium and the brazen colors of subtropical fish. Sometimes they swam within feet from our thick windows. We were looking each other squarely in the eye with disconcerting indifference. Separated by a few feet, yet worlds apart. We belonged to Universes of vastly different pressures. It was clear that we would never live in each other's neighborhood.

Shortly after this trip I was sitting in a subway car on Washington's orange line and looked around at my fellow passengers. It felt like we were all riding in our own personal submarines. We all carry our joys and sorrows with us, our personal tragedies and comedies neatly sequestered behind thin windows of our eyes. We look at each other at times, but we know we belong to Universes of vastly different pressures. Separated by a few feet, yet worlds apart.



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