The Old Man over the Sea

In which septuagenarian Steve Satullo reflects on a visit to England around May Day 2018.

Of isolation and stasis, I am a devotee.  I like to be all by myself, in one place, without interruption or excess exertion.  So travel is always a stretch and a stress to me, and more so as I pass into my seventies (here’s hoping they betoken serenity, and not severity or senility).  I figure that if I’ve got to put myself through it, I ought to get some writing out of it.  And unaccountably, I suspect readers may be more interested in places and people far removed from my usual narrow track, when I am compelled to get outside my own head and look anew.

So the Old Man goes overseas, to see what he can see, over there in England, where his mother came from, and his son now lives and works.  He’d be at sea without the ballast of his matey, or without the piloting of his daughter-in-more-than-law.  He’s an “accidental tourist,” a rustic old-timer with little taste for new-fangled gadgets and citified gizmos, let alone foreign ways.  But he’s also a flaneur, just strolling about and observing, without plan or purpose, but with an eye out for signs leading to wonders.

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