Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Funny Roman Valentine

Rome, ah, Roma. Three times this year I have slept in your arms. Three times we’ve met, if only for a moment. Still, you remain eternally young and ancient at the same time.

Rome is a childhood sweetheart of mine, whom I stay in touch with, if only from a distance. When I was younger, Rome was like a grandmother to me; large, imposing, wise, ancient. As I spent more time in Rome, she became a mother, a lover, a friend, a muse. Rome, all these emotions over a city that will never know I ever stepped in her shadows.

As I have moved through the streets this year, thrice, the passion for wandering the streets at night have been fulfilled. Rome is a constant passegiata, a pageant of fashion and feeling in time through all epochs. Walking the streets at night is a dreamlike experience, one that I can consciously recognize and not have to wake up from. Hungry? There are many places to assuage the hunger. Thirsty? Anything and everything is ready, available. Lonely? How could one feel that in a city that around every corner there is an experience waiting for the lone traveler or the band of voyagers?

No, Rome doesn’t disappoint in the realm of the senses. Perhaps those senses are too far out front for the cerebral ones. That Caravaggio moment, lurking in every little alley. The philosopher might need to climb a hill or two to find deeper meaning. If not, there is many an edifice with which one can ponder time, mortality, passion. It’s all there, in one town, like I have never seen anywhere else.

It became embarrassing. I was beginning to know Paris better than Rome. Not that I don’t love Paris. But Rome, it’s family. And Paris, well I am just company in that city. Well kept and well fed, but sans paternita. But this year we connected, reignited the passion I have felt every time I came through her portals.

Now Rome is coming to me. After the next holiday, Thanksgiving, I have an appointment with a Roman institution; it seems they have planted vines, made wine. Need to find a way to bring to wine to the outside world. We will see, I am not a gentle one in these regards. Time is fleeting, and we have not room for wasting it.

We will see. I have seen how the cooking of Rome, when it comes to America, changes to a fraction of what it really is in that ancient, decrepit city that makes everything that comes out of a kitchen taste wicked and timeless and sensual and sinfully forgivable. We will see about the wine.

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