In Venice, a Young Boatman Steers a Course of His Own
I’ve known a boatman’s life for my entire professional career and have enjoyed it more than any job I’ve ever had. I’ve always thought that it was pretty cool, because there are no papers to sign, no insurance policies to take out, and it’s really just not that much work.
My wife, Ann, has been a nurse for 35 years, and I’ve been a boat deckhand for 17 years. We’ve spent most of the past three years on an island somewhere in the Mediterranean. A boatman comes along once a week, Monday through Wednesday, and once a month for the full summer. For the summer I’m busy with the boat, and for the month I’m home in the evenings with Ann.
My wife and I like to spend time together, so we enjoy the solitude of being alone. The boat is my home, and I go aboard it every day. That’s how I spend a lot of my time, and that’s how I like to spend my money. But it does take money to live on an island.
I’m a boatman, and I love it. I’ve seen what it means to be a boatman. Now I’m just a boatman. And that kind of life is what I signed up for.
I think I can get into some trouble.
I’ve seen a little trouble. I’ve seen people in trouble. I’ve seen things that people didn’t expect to see.
I’ve been to some strange places with some strange people, and I’ve been in some bad situations with some mean people. I’ve seen people who have given me money to make a living, but there’s always a way out. We’re all there to get along with our neighbors.
It’s a nice life. There are no bad days. There are no hard days.
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