Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And what do you do to numb the pain, in between cathedral-gaping (a scarf around my shoulders, as the only dresses suitable to Italian July are denied entry by the Italian Church--Italy is too hot for Catholicism, oh there I said it) and museum meditating and street gadding and hostel gabbing--what do you do, oh? You are me and you read. In Montottone I finished the last two books I had bought in Madrid, A Hundred Years of Solitude by Garcia Marquez, and The Nymphs by Umbral, and read a great deal in my book of spanish poetas. In Rome I read Orlando by Woolf, finally, and now I too am in love with Vita Sackville-West. In Florence I am re-reading Orlando, because my gosh, but I found a spanish-language book shop in Rome and bought DON QUIJOTE at long last, so that will be for Florence. Really if you travel alone and are not a smoker going through a philosophical crisis I do not know what you do bookless. There are moments that need an occupation, thoughts coming in other than my-how-pretty-hot, beautiful places to sit and be for as long as possible and too many people to watch the whole time. To walk all day I, at least, need my thoughts in dialogue with those of another, and Woolf does marvelously.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Woomph! I'm gone. That sound, that woomphing sound? That was the vacuum suck of my absence in Madrid, the smack of her womby walls sealing behind me. Ick, agh. Distaste, distortion. I am fearing my memory, trying to remember everything pat in place, ha. Sending emails, trying to tie up some ends, loosen others. I've had several dreams which are neither nightmares nor not nightmares, in which disbelief and the less glamorous moments of polyamoury play against a backdrop of goblin parades, whooshed through with limey gibbering ghosts. I miss Madrid. I miss all the potential. Alfred de Musset is a young man with a great future behind him. Nico, who does not yet distinguish between Italy and his grandmother's house, California and his schoolyard, is tired of hearing about Spain. I'm no better, swooning over memories of nonspecific arms in specific bars and tea-houses, particular singing people in certain plazas, while the news, always on during mealtime here, shows the running of the bulls in Pamplona. Ah yes Spain, I say, I love Spain.

Yet I'm in Italy with a dear baby eating pizza on the beach, being driven past acres of wilting sunflowers. Can I put up pictures I cannot. I look forward to coming home, being there, and leaving again. I look backward prematurely and obsessively. Hymning and hemming and hawing.