In Venice, a Young Boatman Steers a Course of His Own
For years, David Dufresne worked as a deckhand on a cruise ship. It was the kind of job that offered no future and little to no security. And while he liked his time there, for as long as he could remember he had dreamed of leaving it all behind and becoming a writer. So when he received a call from his mother telling him he had some unusual and exciting news, he was eager to hear it.
His mother had made a life-changing trip to Italy to meet a man she had met during a cruise, and although David couldn’t see her face, he instantly recognized the man on the other end of the line. This man was different, of course. Tall and lean, he stood barely an inch over six feet, his features were severe and austere, and he spoke as if he were a preacher. His suit and tie were of a severe, classic style with a red stripe circling his jacket and pants.
“I told her there was no way she was going to find someone like that,” he admitted. In addition to making a life-changing trip to Italy, David’s mother had been going there for several years to visit her friend who had fallen ill and was dying. She returned from the cruise impressed and changed, and her life was a little easier when she found out this man was interested in her.
“David, you’ll like him. He’s a writer,” he told David, with a laugh. “I don’t want to alarm you, but he writes short stories.”
“And he wants to make you an offer you can’t refuse,” David said, smiling. “And I don’t want to scare you off.”
The two agreed to meet. At a time when many of their friends were already starting their own families, David and his mother were about to embark on a life