I walk around Rome. Walking around Rome always works.
Today I am intranquilla. Uncharitable, Forster would say (or rather, Mr Beebe would say), to everyone. Including and especially, at Franco who is only trying to fix my gas main, and bangs on my door at nine in the morning on a day off: I am dressed inappropriately, and have to rummage for a tee-shirt (exponentially more activity than I would like to be doing four seconds after waking up, and without coffee), before scrambling to open the door, and he is oh-so-fucking cheerful and suddenly-bewildered by my face, because my face does not look anything like the smiley one he sees most mornings, after I have showered, had coffee, and half-an-hour to stare into the morning and make peace with wakefulness. "Non stai bene?" He is so very annoyingly concerned. I hate when people are blamelessly nice to your bad mood. It means you have to hate them, and feel like a bitch for it as well.
I need to go somewhere. Even if I have not decided it, it seems that everyone around me has. (Carlos mentions workaholism: "The first step, is admitting that you have a problem...")
More importantly, I am not liking things. I am sick of Romans and their rough edges. (Enough. It is not all that charming, this Romanaccio sound and stage.) I am annoyed with the cerotti i have bought for the tops of my heels, where the new shoes are chafing. They (the cerotti) fall off in all of four minutes. I am dissatisfied with the friends -- even and especially the ones I like and respect -- who are so firmly ensconced in their FAO bubbles -- so entrenched in conversations that seem to me so shallow and so centred on so specific a life. It feels like I am back in Karachi, listening to everyone complain about their servants. Cry me a river, indeed.
I feel like Lucy, after the Beethoven. Only not very decided, at all.
I think I need to be some place that's not here.
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[luned́ 22 giugno 2009 ore 16:41:23] [¶]
At Emporio alla Pace, a girl in a deep blue jersey dress wears a pair of lovely yellow wedge shoes. (I may not like wedge shoes, but she has good reason to feel differently.) She also wears a perfectness of brown curls, and gray-blue eyes that flicker against the blue dress, and against a red couch. If I choose to curl my hair again this winter, for the second time in my life. It will be because of you, blue-dress girl.
From the conversation that ensues, the bartender is telling her not to go, to stay here. They are talking about Iran. She seems to be trying, in terms of articulating the complexity of politics that defines so many of our countries (third-world, and/or Islamic republic, and/or dictatorial, and/or under martial law, and/or all of the above). And she seems to be failing, as is common, against a Roman who is more taken with drawing (loudly, as always), what he thinks are the obvious parallels to Berlusconi ("E' la stessa cosa: nessuno ha votato per lui, neanche.")
I used to think the world would be a better place if people would read newspapers from other countries. Maybe I'm dreaming too high. They should probably start by reading newspapers from their own country.
But perhaps I am being unfair. This is not a people known for subtlety. (It is a reason to love them, too.) Why should I expect them, suddenly, to sense the complexities, the intricate not-quite-simplistics, of their own politics, let alone that of others?
Black-and-white thinking has its place. In the way you choose to live your life, and in the way you live with those choices. I know why I am thinking about this today, why so much of what I think about these days, has to do with black and white and right and wrong and the fact that the word principle should have a capital P, and that if you find you are lower-casing that P when it happens to suit you (or when "you're not hurting anyone," or "everyone else is doing it anyway and always has,") -- well then it's not really a principle at all, is it.
It's weird to feel so clearly, in the face of those who are older than you, that you disagree. And maybe this is a bit of a high horse I am insisting on riding. But I don't believe there's a better way to walk this wild west trail of mire and meanness, other than on this high horse. Not if I want to skip the quicksand.
[L'Emporio alla Pace, Roma]
[domenica 21 giugno 2009 ore 16:59:14] [¶]
...but call it Italy if pleases you Vicar.
A young girl, transfigured by Italy! And why shouldn't she be transfigured?
Why shouldnt she, indeed.
[L'Emporio alla Pace, Roma]
[domenica 21 giugno 2009 ore 16:38:14] [¶]