The first night aboard, after the announcements made
in Norwegian, Dutch, then English – I gather the
courage to ask what to do if I fall. Even this close to
Bergen, it is clear that the journey between inky grey waves
is a one-way trip. There is no hurry to embark, I know that
route well. Need only follow again the imprint of
your boot, the painkillers scattered like breadcrumbs
beneath an empty stairwell.
Instead, I choose another path to the end of the world.
Beside the caged globe at the northern cape, at the
mixing point of the Norwegian and the Barents Sea, flows
the river that cannot be stepped into twice. This is
not the same water Steven Borough traversed;
I am not the same who stepped onto this boat a week ago.
I have seen between the bars, looked out above the
frozen crests, where icebergs of sun shatter and bounce,
fall; follow the snow lining the waters limits down, draping the
sharp angled blank whiteness in strips of orange peel,
candy-floss pink and baby blue.