Tuesday, 4 May 2010
It’s ten minutes to midnight on the 4th of May as I write this, and tonight is my birthday. Twenty-five, kiddos. There’s a lot of yack I could put down about my feelings on this day and all that, but I find this kind of talk works much better when I’m getting drunk, so I’ll leave it aside for next time I meet you. Because if you’re reading this, then the odds are, we’re going to meet, or meet again. I’m like a bad penny, you know.
I’d like to discuss a couple of things that have been going on in my life, something which I normally don’t do on this blog if not in humorous terms, because they’re relevant to this page. For a long time I have wished to work on the sea. Not necessarily as a career for life, but at least for a few years, I wanted to become acquainted – personally – with that entity by the side of which I have grown up. It is true that I spent most of my early life in Rome; but it’s also true that my grandmother used to live in the countryside by the sea, and since we’d go to her place almost every summer, my childhood was spent in touch with the Mediterranean. When I grew up and came back from Spain, the score did not change. I used to spend my summers at my grandmothers, an exile which allowed me to spend all my time reading and writing. Again, the sea was always by me, be it in the early-morning walks after a night spent writing, or breaking on the rocks where I’d sit with a copy of some obscenely hard and boring book, battered by sunlight and obstinacy.
Though it took a while before I could put my aspiration into practice, when coming back from the glitz of Paris I decided it was time to give it a shot. I gave myself the time for the journey through India, which had the effect (among others) of utterly draining my finances. Then I started looking for jobs at sea. It was an incredibly frustrating task and I went through several ordeals which I really have no patience to recount, but finally, and mainly by luck, I was offered a place as steward on a cruise-ship (I look so snazzy in those suits it’s something you would not believe).
I have no idea what the hell this is, it looks like a Julia set with marine colours (a notion I find really, really beautiful).
I am saying all this because working on the ocean, all sources agree, is hugely taxing, especially on a cruise ship. It does pay very well, but it leaves little time for much else. I am giving up my football journalism for it; hell, I won’t even be able to see the matches of the upcoming World Cup. My cooking is going down the drain as well. I will cut down on all of my writing but the poetry, which I do not intend to give up. There will be no articles for any sites, no opinion forums, sparse letters to my friends. And there’s good chances that I’ll have to shut down this blog as well.
I’m hoping that this is not the case; and I reserve judgment for when I actually get on the ship, that is to say, the 17th of May. I embark in Portugal. I have a plane to Lisbon in just about two weeks from now, and from there, we sail across the seas of Northern Europe: North Germany, Denmark, Scotland, Iceland, and all of Scandinavia (a personal dream of mine). Then the second season will take me to South America, assuming of course that I’ve survived the trial period of the first two months.
Once I do embark, I promise to post at least once more. I will see how life is like on the crest of the spume, and I’ll find out whether it allows me to keep posting on this page, for the which I have developed no small measure of affection. If I can, then I shall continue posting from the surface of the waves. If I cannot, then I shall put up a farewell post, and it will be time to shut down the blog.
In the meantime, I hope you are all well. I am enjoying these last days of vacation, and I am looking up at the stars a lot. Astronomy is one of the few things I will not have to give up once I’m on the sea. If anything, I should see clearer skies than anywhere else in the world.