n i g h t i n g a l e s h i r a z / blog
la Toscana nel cestino...

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signs.

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...


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Cafè Cafè, Roma]
[domenica 28 settembre 2008 ore 16:28:23] []