Mike and I once lived on a boat. If you leave the story there, it sounds a bit romantic.
We moved onto the boat because it was cheap and we could no longer afford our apartment. We needed to buckle down and curb our rising debt.
We were young, childless, in college, waiting tables. Three hundred bucks a month sounded great.
The boat wasn’t functional. It’s not as if we spent our days off cruising the California coastline.
The boat didn’t have electricity, but we ran a power cord from the dock to a space heater we kept down below so that we wouldn’t freeze to death.
The boat didn’t have a working sink. The boat didn’t have a toilet
(The boat had a bucket).
When we wanted to use bathroom facilities (beyond that of a bucket), we walked to the public restrooms at the marina.
The boat leaked from all sides. What I mean by that is that rain would seep in from the ceiling and the walls. And since the bilge pump stopped working one night, we stepped into a deep puddle of water on the floor (where we stored our clothes).
Like I said. All sides.
People we knew began to search for delicate ways to tell us that we smelled of mildew.
Our general state of being could be described as damp.
The damp permeated not only our clothes, but our hair, our skin, our pores.
Since then, we’ve stayed on ferryboats. In camper vans, jungle lodges, tents, and questionable hostels.
The boat seems like it was good preparation for our future marriage, a boot camp in adaptability.
Which turns out is a pretty useful skill for married couples. Maybe that should be a prerequisite before marriage; live in a tiny home that leaks for a few months before saying “I do.”
Boat life was a lot of things. It was difficult and unique and survivable; there were even times when, for a moment, it was romantic. (But did I mention the bucket?)