i should go home. i should work on the next culture shock presentation. i should finish the workplan. i should be looking, and waiting, for the 492. instead i scan the other bus routes, as i stand outside Le Bain on Via delle Botteghe Oscure. i see that the 81 is coming. i see that it goes past my soon-to-be new neighborhood.
i get on.
i am texting Stephanie -- she is stuck somewhere that is not Tivoli, but that should have been -- when i happen to glance up and notice the bus is flying up the Aventino, and i am being swept past the Foro Palatino like an emperor. i am shamed at the smallness of my attention. i can sms later, when maybe i am not sweeping past two thousand odd years of divine power.
i ask for the fermata where i think i should -- i am still learning (i will have three-plus-two years, i tell myself). i step off the bus and wait till it draws away, leaving in front of me in its stead: the Colosseo, the Arch of Constantine, and Holy Roman Sky. i wonder what it will be like, coming home at night. i wonder what it will be like, coming home in the rain. i wonder what it will be like, coming home to this for three-plus-two years. again, in front of a view like this, it is hard not to feel like a queen, like an empress.
and of caput mundi, at that.
i force myself to turn around and walk up Via Claudia (how can you turn your back on a presence like this?) -- past Via Capo d'Africa, and then to Via Marco Aurelio: unobstrusive and understated and entirely at ease with so lofty the role of philosopher king of roads. if you wanted the specifics, it seems to say, *this* is where they all lead.
i still cannot tell for sure which windows are mine. i stand across from the doorway, and begin to make friends with the street, with the stone, with the air. i walk on, and pass the Commissariato next door -- i see the sign for the Questura di Roma and i catch myself almost looking forward to the next round of permesso work. almost.
the sprawling Carabinieri outpost is next. it is not what you would expect: a whimsically painted palazzo, with palm trees in the garden and peppers growing in the front yard. i notice how carefully the tomotaoes, too, have been planted -- rows of lovingly tended veggies that some junior commandante has placed in military lines. maybe he was missing his mamma's pummarola.
i pass two wine bars, one of which is called Kottabos (the good omens continue), but neither of which is open on Sundays. so i circle around, making mental notes of the nearest nasone, the inevitable Irish pub, and the typically-excellent looking neighborhood latteria. as i turn down Via dei Santissimi Quattro and pause a moment in front of Cafè Cafè, i notice the garbage can outside the supermarket. it has been stuffed with the pieces of a full-on gladiator costume -- breastplate, plumed helmet, sword and sheath... i wonder what made him quit, and i wonder why i have not brought my camera...
[Cafè Cafè, Roma]
[domenica 28 settembre 2008 ore 16:28:23] [¶]