They call me an old sea dog.
As most of my readers will know that I have been a sailor for more than 13 years and yes I loved my job and my family was happy with what i was doing. Although the last period was pretty though as I developed fibromyalgia and a few years later I was diagnosed with diabetics what has fucked up my life even more.
If you had three guesses you’d still never get my job. Not because that I don't look like a sailor, but because I look exactly like a sailor you’d think it must be something else. Yes I have the muscled, tattooed forearms, folded across my substantial torso;
No I am not having the neatly-clipped, old sea dog approved, snow white beard and moustache; Yes my hairs are grey and clipped short as a navy short-cut and when I have one eye glaring and one partly closed looking towards the sun, like I am the captain on the bridge, and yes when I am on to it I have a voice like a foghorn, a voice so penetrating it could stop a polar bear, a bar fight, or maybe even both.
Passengers my friends, that’s your real bitch of a cargo,’ What they bring on to get something for free. ‘Metaphoric, you see. they’ll suck the juice right out of you.’ You just can snap your fingers, to demonstrate either the speed or the sound you’d make, I’m not sure. But all off sudden you are in a fully hazardous environment
‘Mind you, American passengers ‘ain’t such a walk in the park, neither. That was one time I was almost a letter home. There ‘ain’t any room for error in between when you’re embark and disembarking them. We were sailing with giant heart attack risks when it came down to it. You did your calculations right, though, you focused – and you’d make it through. And the living was good. Must’ve been. I did it 13 years or a bit more.’
Unfortunately I had to lose my sea legs until the day of today, though not through rum or cannon shot or a collision, as you might think, but by other, less exotic means.
‘Damn health bloody diabetics. Bloody’ useless,’ I would say, I am struggling to maintain my weight or to even get it down a couple of kilogrammes. You can see that I lost a great part of power on my arms. ‘Ask the wife, she’ll tell you. I’m not good for nothing no more but chumming overboard.’
My wife Trientsje oversees the whole situation, telling me to be quiet, putting all my medication and other necessaries neatly into the daily containers, making arrangements for the next few days, giving instructions and making notes in my cell phone.
‘Now don’t go upsetting anyone,’ she says, kissing him on the head. ‘They’re doing their best. Don’t go annoying anyone with your endless stories. And don’t forget your reading glasses.’ ‘No dear,’ and ‘Yes, dear.’ Then: ‘I tell yer what, mate. I’ve seen a typhoon chew up a ship and spit it out again in the Pacific Ocean, but I’d rather stand on the deck of that with nuthin’ but me thumb up me arse than get on the wrong side of my wife.’
I am leaving the house and go of to work. I am happy to do my new job on the commuter bus but I still miss the life at sea. The people that I have met out there are all special to me. Not that everyone is liking each other but to me they were like a family.
The Old Sailor,