Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Italy Photo Diary Pt. 3: Borgio Verezzi and Fiano

Hi, it's me. I'm standing on top of this mountain and looking down on the rest of the world. Or that's what it feels like at least. The color of the sky is so beautiful right now. I keep slipping on the cobblestone and I don't know how I am doing that, but I am. Where am I? I'm in a tiny village on the top of the world. I told you that already. I could kiss the clouds, I think. No one speaks English in this village and I am so thankful. I'm communicating by smiling and saying 'thank you' in Italian as much as I can. I am ready to come home but I'm not at the same time. I want to live here. I'm homesick but I've really loved seeing these tiny villages. I would say wish you were here but that's kind of a lie. I'm enjoying seeing this alone. For once, I don't really want to share this with anyone.


I'm sitting by the pool on Sunday in a tiny village on the far outskirts of Turin. The smell of chlorine tickles my nose. The hotel is a four star oasis in the middle of nowhere. Cornfields surround us with a crumbling barn sitting in the distance. These are or were the royal hunting grounds. I believe it when I see a stag with antlers so large, it's intimidating, ambling through the forest by the main road. The hotel feels empty. It is so quiet. It thunder stormed last night and I heard the rain pummel the terra cotta roof. The rain drops sounded harsh and the sound was stinging to my ears. I tossed and turned all night and finally fell into a deep dreamless sleep at around 3 am. I woke up at 8:30 am.

I'm watching a father with his daughter sitting across the pool. She is about two with her little round tummy protruding. She sits between her dad's legs with two yellow floaties attached to her little arms. Her dad is handsome and he wears dog tags around his neck. I saw him last night with an American flag t-shirt on. I wonder if he is an American. His Italian sounds perfect. He gives her a sip or two of his beer. I wonder if this is acceptable in Italy. Just yesterday I saw a boy the age of about 14 or maybe younger smoking a cigarette with his mom under the covered patio by the pool. The plumes of smoke circled around their heads and lingered longer than usual thanks to the humid air. The smell was heady and thick. I didn't mind it.

The pool is completely still. And it's just the three of us. The handsome dad, the chubby little girl, and me. The skies are grey and the pool is still as glass. I feel an occasional raindrop fall on my shoulders but I ignore it. The lady from the concierge tapped on my shoulder and asked me in broken English if it was okay to clean the room. I apologized for how messy it is. She looked confused for a moment and gave me an 'a-ok' hand sign. We looked at each other in mutual understanding that we both couldn't fully grasp what the other was saying. We parted with both of us saying, "Grazie".

The dad is playing drums on his daughter's back and she looks like she has fallen asleep. Chest to chest.

I leave tomorrow morning and I am ecstatic although my entire travel time on my itinerary reads: 19 hours. Three stops to get home. Milan to Newark, New Jersey. Newark to Chicago, Illinois. Chicago to San Francisco, California. I have missed home more than I had anticipated. I laugh because leaving home always leaves me jinxed. My own personal Mercury retrograde.

All I can think about is sliding into my own bed. Falling asleep as the familiar sounds of traffic serves as a lullaby while everything gently fades away and waking up to the gentle stillness of my own house. Waking up to deal with everything that's been on pause for the past 14 days.