it sounds bulky
like something you yell in a kids’ game
like asking for tropical boba with a funny accent
like a bad attempt at an anagram for some other, better phrase
there is a man who makes enormous bubbles at a small piazza on a hillside every day. they are beautiful, a trick of the sunlight, weightless and elastic. they float through the sun sparkled air like jack’s jellyfish in the cylindrical tank. i want you to watch them as they rise and fall, as children slap them between their little hands, as dogs poke their noses into them, as couple after couple embraces under one of their showers. that man, everyday, makes everyone so happy. for many passers by, it a surprise to find him there. “wow! we picked the right day to adventure of the beaten path!” — as though it is something special, irregular, a little treat set forth just for them. that man, everyday, makes everyone so happy.
i get a little lonesome on nights like this. it’s a beautiful day, it’s a beautiful landscape, it’s a beautiful country. but to be sitting in a piazza on a saturday night with no one to call, with friends yet to be made, with men assuming i am approachable because i can’t hide my american posture — this isn’t the weekend i had had in mind. i miss our warm bed, our gulpable beers, our simple rolling-right-along conversations. there’s not much to say on a night like this.
markets are places for bargainers, buyers, cheapskates, tricksters. markets are places for antiques, artists, old books, and delicately carved furniture. places for falling-apart shoes, fresh produce, and old friends. markets are fleeting and funny and fragrant. markets are a place to look around, even though i know i won’t find a familiar face.
amore is a lie, i think. ciao bella is a curse. the love here isn’t found in the moonlit streets or the fingers of guitar players. if anywhere, it is in the food a mother cooks for her family. in the hands of a father as he laughs with his daughter while securing her too-big helmet before a scooter ride. it’s in the sparkle of a neighbor’s eye when they run into you outside of your neighborhood. in the nod and “tutto bene?” of the barista as he takes my cup. amore is a group of friends eating each other’s ice creams, eating each other’s food on steps in the sunset. this i know for sure.
no one from the city sees the city much anymore. there is not a hint of curiosity in the eyes of the fashionable passers by. no one checks who is looking around while they are strolling along. you go where you need to be, leisurely, of course, but without a glance to other glances. i’m just a little person, one person in the sea, of many little people who are not aware of me.
coconut gelato is some of the best. of course i am at home in a place where ice cream is a staple topic of conversation, where you can and should try a new shop every night. cocco, caffe, gianduja, fragole, creme, pistacchio, riso, mango, lampone, buontalenti, limone, cioccolato, cannella, caramella. i will tell you where to go, i will put the spoon in your mouth, i will send you a sticky envelope because i am done with keeping it all to myself.
one day, i will take you here. and unlike my tendency when it comes to movies, i won’t spoil it all ahead of time. i’ll show you my favorite parts, and let you meet them yourself. we’ll pass by the garden wall where i saw an old woman gently lay bread crumbs down to feed the birds, but i won’t point it out. for the first time, we’ll sit on a bench where i sang along to a song while warmed by wine and rest near a tree whose shade i know. we’ll rediscover this place like we always do. but for now, walking far from home, i’ll almost see your face in the crowd, hear your laugh, or mistake a brush on my arm for your touch, and i will feel the weight of those words with every step: ti manco. i miss you.
1 week ago with 1 note