Maranello awoke just before dawn. The first pale light mixing with the smoky mist that lingered over the canals of Venice. He rubbed his eyes and rolled out of bed, his body sore from the previous day’s work. Maranello had been a gondolier since he was a young man, and over the years his craft had become second nature. Though he had his doubts from time to time, he always came back to the comforting rhythm of the water, the steady motion of the oar, and the occasional song from one of his passengers. He dressed quickly and set out for his morning job. Maranello’s gondola was stowed away in a back alley, but he had no trouble finding it in the hazy morning light. He stepped into his vessel and pushed off from the dock with a single, graceful stroke. He steered his gondola through the narrow canals and alleyways, avoiding the commotion of the larger vessels as they set off on their morning runs. He took notice of the small details of life that unfolded along the way, a woman emptying the night’s refuse bin into the canal, two cats squabbling over a scrap of food, the soft morning song of the birds waking up Venice’s inhabitants. As the city started to come alive around him, Maranello’s focus shifted to the day’s work ahead. He had families to transport, cargo to carry, and tours to give. He also had to make sure he had enough money saved up at the end of the day to provide for his wife and children. Maranello was determined to make a living from his skill, and despite the physical and mental strain that came with it, he was proud of his chosen profession. He worked tirelessly throughout the day, taking on more and more passengers and cargo as the hours went by. By the time the sun was setting, Maranello had made enough money to cover his family’s expenses for the night. He rowed back to the dock with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, grateful for the chance to make a living as a gondolier. As Maranello moored his gondola and put away his oar, he thought of the morning ahead and the work it would bring. He looked forward to the solitude of the canals, the peacefulness of the city, and the joy of transporting people and goods across the canals of Venice. With a sense of pride, he turned towards home, ready to face the new day ahead.
January 31st, 2023
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