David and I share a warped and juvenile sense of humor. This has proved especially valuable in situations where one or the other might be grumpy, tired, or threatening to torpedo an otherwise pleasant afternoon.
In case you had any doubt, the “one” threatening to torpedo an otherwise pleasant afternoon is usually me. That said, I was ever-so-slightly grumpy and tired as we found ourselves in the way, way, way back of a large commercial water taxi from Capris to Naples.
Yes, friends. I was on the stunning coast of southern Italy and I was somehow grumpy. It can happen. Let’s move on with the story, shall we?
Did you know that 99% of the people who go to the way, way back of an Italian water taxi are there for a smoke? And did you know that the other 100% is totally fine with sharing the most intimate of personal space?
It never enters the mind of a person in the way back that you and I could be just a teeny bit too close with your arm-pit there resting right on my head. But that’s the beauty of it all, I guess. (Not pictured: 34 lit cigarettes).
Seriously? I was grumpy? Look at this view! (PS. It was our 20th anniversary…)
We were in the “cargo hold” (read: butt-end) of the boat, babysitting the well-worn suitcases we’d been duly warned would be stolen, immediately, on arriving at the port of Naples.
Half my rear-end was on a narrow metal stair-step; a ‘seat’ that had certainly cost us enough Euro for several rear-ends to lounge comfortably, on plush velvet, drinking Prosecco and eating caviar.
The diesel fumes, claustrophobia, body odor (mine the worst), and Marlboro smoke was taking me to a very unhappy place when David saw a story unfolding…
The gentleman in the blazer is taking many, many, many minutes of video of the sea.
He is taking more unedited minutes of ocean video than David and I have of all four children, combined, over the last twenty years.
And the gentleman under his blazer is a local Italian man on his commute home from work. He just – please dear God – wants to get home.
And we thought our seats were bad!
Where can our local Italian hero cast his gaze? He displays the patience of Job.
I respect his restraint so much.
Our friend in the blazer is still filming thirty minutes later, now with only one hand hanging off the edge of the taxi. He will go on to document every second of our forty- seven-minute taxi ride…
And there it is. Just a picture-story about the lovely people of this world and this weirdly wonderful life. Why would one ever be a grump?
Shalom to you as you sit under someone’s exuberant armpit in the way back. Or wait under the smoky haze from several packs of Marlboros. Or bear quiet witness to the saintly composure and patient generosity of a long-suffering local man.
Shalom as you commute to and fro today, even if you are feeling ever so slightly grumpy. There might be a story unfolding right before your eyes.
PS. We did get a laugh from this dear fellow right before port. He was somehow able to find the humor in it all – – what a good sport. Love him. Love Italians. Love tourists. Love this memory.