When this morning I went to poo I realised I only had one plastic bag left. That made me smile. How perfect. I love when stuff like that happens. It means that even the god of plastic bags knew this was my last day and my last poo on the boat and made sure I had one last bag to perform the final act.
So anyway, that’s it. I’ve packed those 15 bags of clothes and paraphernalia I had brought with me, of which I used only about half bag (the rest is now all creased and smells like mould) and I’m gone. Tonight I won’t sleep on the boat. The boat owner has taken back control. And I’ve Boatexited. At least for us it was a smooth transition. And no backstop, as attested by the unequivocal brown matter that, if small, came out this morning.
If there’s something I’ve done, relentlessly, over the past three months – apart from shitting in plastic bags – is try to find the funny side to some not exactly funny times. Is there always a funny side to tragedies? Maybe. Maybe not to big big tragedies. But to small or smallish personal tragedies there almost always is, though. And writing 3 mesi di merda has certainly helped me get through shit times.
Giving myself permission to be silly has helped me. Giving myself permission to talk about what I thought I ‘should not’ talk about has freed me a great deal. Because while I’m deeply worried about Brexit and the rise of fascism and climate change and plastic pollution and many other things, the sense of loss I felt at times was so pervasive that it overrode everything else – including the efforts to be useful in the world, or recycle the wine and whisky bottles I drank, or the same willingness to write this. Also, I’ve started to make art in my thirties and so I’m still a baby in art-years. I wanted to do something about love & heartbreak for so long. Then it happened – what great luck uh! – so I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity. Soon I’ll do something about my mother. And then I can get on with the serious stuff. Isn’t it. Whatever!
I always tend to worry and apologise too much about stuff that needn’t apologising for. Of course doing so is just a way to insulate myself from criticism. So fuck it. As my friend says, own it. So yeah: I’m proud of my shit-in-a-bag stories. Because, no matter what, I’ve stuck to it. And this is what, ultimately, has kept me sane and given me strength. And my readers, friends and family, of course. Knowing that if I didn’t write a post I’d get a message from Greece saying ‘where’s my post??’ has kept me going even on those days when I just wanted to attach as many bags of shit to my body as possible and sink to the bottom of the canal. Although probably my head would have still stuck out of the water, I don’t think it’s very deep. And then what. You go back to the boat and you can’t even shower and you smell like shit for a day. Great.
I’m exaggerating about the sinking and all – I like big dramas (if you hadn’t figured that out yet) but you get the point. So a massive thanks to all of you who have decided to follow me on this scatological journey. Knowing I had an audience has made all the difference. Thanks for reading me at the cost of having your Facebook algorithm quite literally going to shits, thanks for reading me at breakfast time despite the graphic content, thanks for sending me stuff, thanks for giving a shit. Which takes me back to the beginning.
I’ve just gone back to read my first post and I remember so well when I wrote it, how I felt, what the boat looked like in the faint light of a candle. It was when I didn’t know how much battery I had left until boat armageddon, and I kept walking back and forth to the electricity meter. I was unaware of how the boat worked, and of how deeply in denial I was. Not that I’ve now become a pirate of the canals, or that I can call him up to talk about life and his lovers and say LOLOLOL, but still, everything is all a little bit more clear.
It’s clear that if there’s someone who’s losing out here, that’s him. Not going to find someone as funny as me. And yet, what a real shame to not even try. It’s clear that friends’ love is one of the most valuable things ever. It’s clear that people who can’t look at their shit should go see a shrink. Really. What do you do when you shit, you turn your head? And it’s clear that I’m just finding it difficult to write this final post!!! I don’t want to let go! I’m gonna miss it. But this is only the beginning of some new writing adventure, because as I have re-discovered thanks to this, I absolutely love to write. So stay tuned. And I hope that whenever you see 2 clementines or half a fennel or a roll of plastic biodegradable bags, you will think of me.
Much love and healthy guts to you all!