Our cruise director’s office door was slightly ajar. Her cabin was as before, stark, although not as severe as Captain Kessler’s. Benito was at her desk. Her cabin was huge, compared to what I was assigned, but then, after the Captain and the Purser, she was the most important crewmember on board. Her overnight bag, left unpacked, was by the side of one of her bunks.

Benito did not raise her head from working on whatever occupied her, pen in hand, so I sat in her single chair and waited. She told me to close the door. I realized I had left it gaping behind me, not intentionally, probably subliminally. I did as she ordered.