This is the man I am– My life moves in a circular direction. I come back home to go away and go away to come back.
I have no address except for the name of the vessel, my passport shows one, my home is elsewhere, where my heart belongs. I am not like any other man, but yet I am the most ordinary person at heart.
I cannot go through the daily mundane stuff of the ordinary man and yet the ordinary man cannot take the pain I go through. He cannot live away from his home, love and life for months on end. He cannot be the helpless son, the lonely husband or the yearning father. He will never know the frustrations of staying awake for days and not getting rest at all, working continuously round the clock. There are no constant time zones we stick to. The ordinary man will not know the lonely cabins I come to after work, whereas he comes to a house full of people. He gets to eat what his mother cooks and gets to be hugged by his children daily. I only see them on pictures. He gets to hear them and see them daily, whereas I have to be strong and do my duties.
My wife must be silently wiping her tears and braving the pain I go through when I cannot see her, when I don’t see her as well. Her hands must be longing to hold my hands, her heart must be longing to love me, her lips must be longing to tell me all things happening during the day, her eyes must be longing to look into mine. Whenever she looks at couples on the way to the Super market, she must be turning away her eyes and consoling herself that just few more days. I am an ordinary man and I am away doing my job. I tell everyone to understand that I need to be away.
I am not a Casanova, I go to the shore to step on land, because I have not felt it beneath my soles for long. I may have dirty secrets but I may not be perfect at times. I am a very lonely man. I have mates with me everytime, but no family when I am away. I don’t even know what they do or how they are. The biggest fear that grips my heart is when my family needs me desperately I may not be around them. I fight myself daily, I fight these surging thoughts, I tell myself not now mate, our duty calls.
I look forward to the day I meet my folks at home, I pray for their safety and well being here and hope they are happy. I only want them to know, that while I stand tall on the bridge or working hard at the engine or galley, I love my family and I am proud of who I am and what I do.
The ordinary man I am inside, I shall always be.. But…
The man I am today… No ordinary man shall be..