Sunday Photo Fiction – A Woman In Every Port

spf220516For fifteen years I worked as a Cabin Steward on various Mediterranean cruise ships. Before that I served nine and a half years in the Her Majesties Royal Navy – many months of which was spent under fire in distant combat zones. I loved everything about the life at sea. From a boy I’d dreamt of nothing else. I’d never suffered from sea-sickness, never once felt frightened by rough, foreboding seas. I actually enjoyed the feeling of being calm and in control when others around were unable to suppress their fears and worries.

Yet, as much as I enjoyed my work, I also enjoyed my time on shore. We stopped in so many places. I never had time to form lasting relationships: there was always another departure looming, another month at sea just around the corner. Instead I preferred to deal with my urges on a needs basis. I’m not sure when I lost the ability to control those urges; I can’t truly remember the first time I hurt someone. I didn’t mean to – I still don’t.

I was always glad to get out to sea again. However, no matter where we sailed I knew I’d never escape who and what I am.


Other entries for SPF can be found here.

14 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction – A Woman In Every Port

  1. Jesse Raven

    I don’t think they reference this in the recruiting commercials. I like how you led with the courageous part. Well done-

  2. Sebastian

    The dark turn this story takes is really intriguing and the main character is powerfully described, but I’m a bit confused about his attitude toward his time on shore. At first he sounds like he likes being on shore at least as much as being at sea, but then he’s “always glad to get back.” Despite that, I did enjoy reading the story. Thank you, Paul.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Think my take was that he looks forward to getting ashore and whatever follows, but then is glad to get away because he knows he’s done something he now regrets.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s