You have to be comfortable in the company of complete strangers, who materialize and then disappear week-by-week. You can't be a person with a family who is expecting you at the dinner table back home. And, although you don't have to be trust-fund wealthy, you have to somehow have $400 or $500 a week on hand, for weeks on end.
But the opportunity, for a particular kind of person, is there. The modern-day combination of a vast cruise industry, and an internet that makes finding 11th-hour bargains effortless, means that you can, for as long as you are able to get away with it, indulge yourself in an endless summer, letting rootlessness be a virtue.
Probably very few people reading these words will find themselves in a position, or a frame of mind, to do it, but maybe, the next time the cubicle culture begins to feel too confining, just the thought of it will bring a smile.
On gray days, it has for me. I've thought, from time to time, of that guy on the ship, and wondered how long he was able to make it last. Or whether it became a case of too much ice cream -- if he ended up deciding that the long meal of life was not meant to be an infinite succession of desserts.
And whether a fellow like Micky Arison, the head of Carnival, with all of the job's challenges and headaches, ever daydreams of being that guy instead.
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