at top left, held up by two of the three squared-silver magnets that came with Ciro's first-ever birthday present (unknowing pre-cursor to a glass teapot and a pale-yellow handbag), a postcard di pubblicita' from American Express, entitled TOP FIVE DEI PROPOSITI DAVVERO REALIZZABILI PER L'ANNO NUOVO (the "Top Five Real and Realistic Resolutions for the New Year"):
#1. SPEGNERE IL CELLULARE E FAR PARLARE LE TUE PASSIONI
(To switch off the cellphone and let your passions do the talking.)
#2. INDOSSARE UN CAPO DA TRE CIFRE PIUTTOSTO CHE TRE CAPI DA UN EURO
(To put on a piece of clothing that's worth three figures, rather than three pieces that cost a Euro each.)
#3. ISCRIVERTI ALLA PALESTRA PIU' CARA; PIU' PAGHI, PIU TI SENTI IN COLPA SE NON CI VAI
(To sign up at the most expensive gym in town; the more you pay, the more guilty you'll feel for not going.)
#4. BERE SOLO VINI DI QUALITÀ; UN BRINDISI DOC NOBILITA OGNI PASTO
(To drink only wines of quality; a toast with "DOC" to grace every meal.)
#5. TRASFERIRE IN CANTINA QUEL "DELIZIOSO" VASO CINESE CHE TI HA REGALATO LA ZIA
(To move into the cellar that "lovely" Chinese vase your aunt gave you.)
to its right, and held up by the Official First Magnet of this new home (from Zainab -- a miniature turquoise flip-flop with a very happy frog on it), is a hurriedly-scribbled note to self about how i gave Evelyn an extra fifteen dollars for her cleaning session on the twelfth of August, because i didn't have change.
right under -- and not holding anything up -- is the magnet-card Romolo gave me that last limoncello-laden night in Rome. this is the picture on it. it says, "Show me a day when the world wasn't new."
and finally, to the left, a postcard from Steph, for the 2006 Summer/Fall collection of books from MudScout Media. this is held up by my precious Pablo Neruda poetry magnet from Lynda (from the very first FORVMROMANVM writers group meeting at Il Goccetto -- them of the to-die-for rotoli di salmone):
T'amo senza sapere come, né quando, né da dove,
t'amo direttamente senza problemi né orgoglio:
così ti amo
perché non so amare altrimenti.
so. what's on your fridge?
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[saturday 30 september 2006 at 11:26:01] [¶]
i know. three whole weeks into the month and NOW i'm posting the new page? i know. blame Italy.
blame blessedly good wine and even better friends. blame an afternoon at Greve in Chianti and an evening-massage in San Giovanni. blame jasmine-flavored gelato and my first taste of lampredotto. blame the way the peach-juice runs off your wrist and into the crook of your elbow, while you sit in the piazza and wait for the next bus, whenever that is.
blame the ever-charming manager at the Deutsche Bank by St. Peter's, for telling me he wishes all his customers had such lovely smiles; blame Giorgio-the-portiere at Via Giordano Bruno, for telling me he misses me and can he kiss my hand again; blame the women at the pet-store in Prati, for hugging me goodbye and asking if i could send them a postcard from Canada; blame Monica at Enoteca d'Orio, for pinching my cheeks and asking when i'm moving back.
blame porchetta d'Ariccia sandwiches and the FORVMROMANVM writers group at Ai Tre Scalini; blame a big book by Dante and blame Pablo Neruda in Italian. blame Angelo and the gay-Chinese restaurant in Monti; blame Giorgio-in-Cortona and his seventeen-euro-a-kilo prosciutto; blame pizza bianca on a rainy day in Monteverde; blame the salad-and-wine-bar by Piazza Navona and an afternoon full of papal daughters and Italian ex-boyfriends.
blame the eighty-five-year-old man who made the John Lennon mosaic in Central Park, sitting half-blind and ever-friendly in his artisanal hole-in-the-wall studio on Via Urbana.
blame what is still -- no matter how hard it is to go back there -- my favorite wine bar in the whole world; blame the way the wind feels on a motorino in Florence; blame a boy who always knows what to fill your glass with.
blame risotto ai funghi porcini and friends that feel like home. blame home.
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[thursday 21 september 2006 at 07:53:15] [¶]
i am on the InterCity to Florence. it is crowded like always, and it is late like always. the much-touted, lazy afternoon in Greve is looking less and less lazy. i wonder if i should bail and just go straight to Rina in Campi, and have her fuss over me like only a Sicilian housewife can. i think about her vegetable garden, and wonder whether the fiori di zucca are in season.
it is cooler today than it has been all week. all week i have been enjoying the heat, and the world that comes with it: the way things get quieter in the afternoons -- as people retreat behind shuttered houses; the way sweat trickles down the back of your knee, the way a night out starts late, and lasts long -- stretched out by aperitivi before dinner, and gelato after, and a long walk home over finally-cooled cobbles.
but today is cloudy, and i wonder as we pull out of Rome whether La Notte Bianca will be as wet this year, as the last.
sometimes i think Trenitalia gets away with all the delays, with full-to-bursting trains and less-than-stellar service, thanks only to the sheer loveliness of the Italian countryside. when i got to Termini this morning, there were no more seats on the next two, three, and four EuroStars to Florence, and my only option was to take a slower (and already-delayed) InterCity. i will miss the one o'clock bus connection to Greve, i might miss Erica, i might not even get to go to Greve this afternoon -- i have lost so much time. but the fields of fieno in upper Lazio do that burnished-gold, rolling-ripple thing, and the olive trees march down the hillsides like footsoldiers gone slightly awry. i am sitting in my favorite spot -- by the window and facing the tail of the train, and i get to watch the land unfurl away from me for a hundred and fifty minutes (instead of ninety) -- and it's okay.
[InterCity Trenitalia, Roma-Firenze]
[sabato 09 settembre 2006 ore 11:30:29] [¶]