A Day in the Life: The Kept Man

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Many of you know SVV, but on this voyage he’s rapidly becoming known as the Kept Man. Below, he explains how this came to be…

Virtually the entire shipboard community has a function attached to their name but the Kept Man meanders amidst the harried professors, students, staff and crew like a little pixie bird, sprightly ignoring the clock and measuring time by the sound of silverware clattering in the kitchen and the increasingly jealous stares he receives when mentioning a busy massage schedule.

The life of a Kept Man is difficult. He’s got to figure out ways to wile away the day and keep his mind from rotting into a pile of fish guts so he’s endlessly staring out into the blue parts of the sky in search of meaning and context from which to judge his worth. The yardsticks are murky as there are a total of three ridiculously impressive benchmarks from which to measure upon this floating oasis of white steel:

  • seasoned citizens prowling the halls sitting on deck chairs and telling amazing stories of intellectual exploration, adventurous travel involving shipping freighters and illustrious careers changing the world, one tort at a time.
  • beefy Situations with a seven percent BMI and nothing but kerosene and sugar fueling their lives. Maybe a trust fund, as well, but who really knows these things. He tries not to judge.
  • Presidential Scholars, Desmond Tutu Scholars and various Other Scholars that have a stipend to circumnavigate the earth and spread good like so many apple seeds.

You can see the conundrum?

The Kept Man has begun repeated visits to the iron-filled, testosterone inducing and totally MANLY spa on Deck 7. Ignore the scented oils, facial polishes and meticulously crafted brochures highlighting body treatments that begin in mistranslated French. These are mere distractions for the uninitiated. Behind the perfume, the bronzing treatments and the rare salt-rubs lie deep tissue and Swedish massage, and if you dare tread into this harem, thou shalt not return.

The Kept Man has found that surrounding himself with acres of tanned skin and bikini bottoms on the pool deck in the aft of M/V Explorer is a fabulous way to gather vitamin D and rhyming reflections on the nature of the human condition. The students come and go, muttering about homework and the difficulty of reading their professor’s PDF files in the bright sun but the Kept Man simply smiles, rotates the deck chair to an angle of maximum sun intensity and smears more Coppertone Sport onto his face.

His biggest concern is the density of cloud cover and whether there will be milk for his coffee in the mid-morning light to continue his journey into the mind of man.

There are many alternative methods by which the Kept Man can enrich his mind while traveling with Semester at Sea. College-level courses are held each day while sailing on topics ranging from religious studies, architecture and comparative literature. The library—a glass, steel and wooden affair with terrific views of the rushing ocean—holds 9,000 books, many of which are intimately related to the countries this ship is visiting. The Kept Man has borrowed folk tales from Morocco, read Paul Bowles’ psychedelic scribblings, tapped into the moral histories of myriad philosophers and is currently grasping the full scale of the late-19th century British Empire’s near annihilation of Africa in the pursuit of diamonds, gold and war.

But does it stop there? Hark, there lay the elliptical machines and a pile of free-weights! There lay the endless supply of coffee and skittles! There lay, my friends, a buffet of tasty morsels three times a day. Has this ship been crafted in Heaven by angels of leisure? Has every inch of this vessel been shaped for the pursuit of a Jeffersonian ideal?

Did Jefferson wear Speedos?

COMMENTS
  • September 26, 2011

    Seems like an ideal situation for SVV to be a kept man. I’m sure there are many jealous. Myself included, even though I’m not a man, being kept is AOK.

    • September 26, 2011
      Kristin

      I have to say, it’s an area in which he excels.

  • September 26, 2011
    Kristin

    Number one on the Kept Man’s repertoire of shipboard duties should be “Spousal Support,” a vital but oft-overlooked component to any voyage.

    • September 26, 2011
      SVV

      Oh it’s on the List honey! So far up the List that it doesn’t even warrant a numerical placement!

  • September 26, 2011

    “Did Jefferson wear speedos”? *snort*

  • September 26, 2011

    I can totally hear Robin Leach narrating this…

    • September 26, 2011
      SVV

      I was trying to remember his name! Because he won’t get outta my head!

  • September 26, 2011

    Dear SVV,
    I hate you. Don’t take it personally, it’s only because I’m jealous.
    (Not so) Fondly,
    Emily

    • September 26, 2011
      SVV

      One big body hug and all is forgiven. 🙂

  • September 26, 2011

    I take it that one of those duties is to take over blogging? The problem is that if you do ever get bored, being bored is super hard work. Worse than real work.

    • September 26, 2011
      SVV

      Word. It’s like a full time job!

  • September 26, 2011
    Rebecca (Bearca)

    Dear Scott, I totally hate you right now, but it’s only because I am jealous! Living the dream, man. 🙂

    • September 26, 2011
      SVV

      Drinks on me in Costa Rica!

    • September 26, 2011
      Kristin

      You and me both, sista! Though truth be told, I’m a whole lot better at being busy than I am at having free time. That said, I could be happy with a schedule that includes more massages.

  • September 26, 2011

    So, is this your attempt of legitimizing your days of getting massages, tanning, reading, working out, and swimming by using fancy language?

    Just checking.

    PS-I wish I were you. Fucker.

    • September 26, 2011
      SVV

      Wait, I didn’t pull it off?

  • September 26, 2011

    I think this semester will add 5 years to your life. Quit reading this and get back out to that pool!

    • September 27, 2011
      SVV

      Good point This is what in the olden days they called “taking air.”

      Ciao!

  • September 26, 2011

    I have been DYING for this post wondering what the heck SVV has been up to! Thank you, thank you! Looks like a tough job!

    • September 27, 2011
      Kristin

      And to think I was honestly afraid he was going to get bored!

  • September 27, 2011

    Oh my goodness. How do I sign up for the job of being a Kept Man? Is there an application? Interview process??

    • September 27, 2011
      Kristin

      You get Kali to apply for a job on the ship. Then you tag along for the ride. (Or vice verse.) Easy peasy!

  • September 27, 2011

    Sounds like the Kept Man is having a horrible time. Guess he needs to be shipped home.

    • September 30, 2011
      SVV

      No way mama!

  • September 28, 2011

    If, theoretically, one were going to be a board certified emergency medicine doctor in a couple years, could one find work aboard at that time? Hmmm…now that’s a thought…

    • September 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Maybe as a PA? I think the ship doctor is required to have !0+ years practicing before he/she can apply; however, there is also a PA position, and ours is a full-fledged doctor back home. So there’s a thought.

  • September 28, 2011

    I would like to sign up for a job as a Kept Woman. This whole kept business sounds absolutely wonderful.

    • September 28, 2011
      Kristin

      You and me both, sista.

  • September 28, 2011

    Ummm, I’m with Em…I’m a major hater right now! 😉

  • September 29, 2011

    Remember that show “Kept Man” with Jerry Hall? Mwah ha ha. This is totally reminding of that though no literal physical comparisons to Jerry Hall (hello horse!).

  • October 5, 2011

    Probably the best life EVER.

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