This promised land

Such a wonderful week, the best one I've had in a very long time. My heart has landed and I breathe more easily, helped by the spring smells in Bruno's little garden. We sleep undisturbed, wake up, take a walk into the little city center and have late breakfast or early lunch at different bars and restaurants (there's one in every corner). Tom says he could stay here forever but I know reality will catch up with us sooner or later. I'm not letting it get to me though, not yet, now I'm just watching days and nights pass over this picturesque landscape.

Bruno lets us be, he's very generous and discrete, just the way I remember him. I know he has a lot to tell me but I'm not ready to listen just now. I think he can sense it too. He hasn't told anyone we're here, even though I know that pieces of my family is scattered all over these lands. Maybe in time I'll feel up to meeting them, but like I said, for now I'm just breathing calmly, under the sun and the stars.


A place to stay

And finally a little calm. I know I'm moving around in a landscape where I've been many times before, but I never expected to bump into people who are basically my family. Yesterday we found a bar in a small town and decided to have an espresso (and always a glass of water). As Tom ordered in his adorably American Italian I noticed the back of a head sitting by the window. It was a head full of dark wavy hair on top of a pair of broad shoulders dressed in a leather jacket.

I didn't connect immediately but felt I had to see his face, and when I did my heart stopped for a second. It was Bruno, one of my father's protégés from when I was little. He spent a lot of time a my family's house here in Toscana and always treated me well. I remember calling him Magli, as in the fashion designer, the way he looks now I don't think I would dare do it again.

He didn't recognize me at first but almost cried when I told him who I was, all the memories came back instantly. He offered us to come stay at his house, it was just what we needed. Tom is a little afraid but I've ensured him that everything is fine. It feels good being the one on top for a change.


Things we lost in the fire

I'm tired and I'm not sure why, maybe because we've been going from one place to other more or less every day for the past month or so. It's not the traveling itself that's tiring but that eery feeling of being on the run from something. I can't put my finger on what it is (a lost childhood?), but it's constantly there like a nagging voice whispering in my ear or the blurred reflection in a dusty mirror.

Tom notices it sometimes when I stop talking and disappear into my thoughts, but I just tell him I'm tired and that I need to rest for a while. Sooner or later I have to talk to him, I'm just not sure what to say.

I wish we could find somewhere to settle down for a while, just a couple of weeks, to regain the energy I've lost. I have family here, but I'm not ready to meet them yet, at least I don't think I am. It would only remind me of my father, of the times I've spent here when I was someone else, and the fact that they are not lost forever. Oh, I have to turn all this around somehow, it's bringing me down.


What's a man without a woman

Driving around here really feels amazing, I couldn't describe the various roads in advance but I know all of them when I see them. I've been here so many times, the memories are burned in my mind like images. Even the smells are familiar, and my heart beats a little faster every time the sun sets over these rolling hillsides.

I didn't think of it and neither did Tom, but suddenly at lunch we asked each other simultaneously when we have to go back home and both realized that we really don't. As long as we can pay our bills we can stay here, I have nothing to return to and neither does he. I know it's just a very long dream, but I intend to keep it that way for as long as possible.

This far we've been staying at new hotels every night and that does not come cheap, obviously. Tom has more sense of the value of money than I do, he's worked for his unlike me. It makes me feel a little bit smaller next to him, but in my culture it's not unusual for a woman to be provided for by a man. I want to make my own money some day, but for now I act naive whenever he talks about it. I think he likes it that way too.


A splinter in my mind

In the spirit of "letting it happen" we left Rome yesterday to go north again. First Civitavecchia, then leaving the coast for Viterbo and maybe Perugia. Toscana is where I feel most at home, and that's where I want to be right now. I'm teaching Tom about fine Italian wines, it feels a little strange but I like it. I know so much more than I thought I did, a result of growing up the way I did, of course. Dad made me drink wine from the age of 11, it was never very dramatic.

And not even for a second am I able to completely ignore the feeling of escaping from something. It's like there is a parallel reality outside the one I'm in for the moment, one that will suddenly come back to bite me and bring me back to the life I used to have. And the worst part is I have no idea how to deal with it, or even what it means if and when it happens.

Well, until then.



Another late night, I don't know what we do with our time but hours and days pass like they were minutes. I guess it's a good thing.

Rome is wonderful, so very different from Los Angeles and warm in a totally other way. History is inscribed in every stone, the air smells of everything that has been going on here for thousands of years. Tom is in love, with me too I hope, I'm too shy to ask.

Yesterday I got a text message from Henry, just seeing his name on the display hurt me. I've let so many people down including my family, but I know I had to in order not to break completely. Henry was a part of the first change but I outgrew him in a matter of months. Maybe I'm wrong and I know he deserves better, but going away like this was something I just had to do. I don't make plans now, I just let it happen as it does, and the way it feels I'm right where I want to be for the first time in many years.



Early yesterday we decided to go to Rome for Easter. Not to celebrate in any particular way, but to be in a large city and be part of that atmosphere. Tom has lived all his life in New York City and is not used to the countryside, at least not the way I am. He is also a non-believer, which is the reason why this Easter is going to be a very different one compared to what I'm used to.

Dad called me last night, I didn't answer and immediately felt terrible. I think Tom understands what the issue is but we haven't talked about it yet. He knows little things about my background and my Catholic upbringing but nothing about my transformation from a naive child to whatever it is I am now.

Tonight we're going out, a restaurant and then a walk through this wonderful city. I feel so at home here but the feeling is new, more distant. And soon I will have to talk to Tom and get him to understand me better. I just hope it will bring us even closer together.



"Can't we watch some football" Tom asks, so we leave the hotel room to go see the evening match at a small bar nearby. I'm neither for Juventus nor Napoli (Forza Viola!), but it's very sexy seeing Tom engage with the locals, speaking a terrible mixture of Italian and English, trying to learn everything he can about the teams and players. I'm used to it from home, but for him it's a whole new world and he's adapting to it for my sake.

Back in the hotel room he watches me undress to take a shower, when I'm done and come out of the bedroom wearing only a towel he throws me on the bed and kisses me on the neck. I wish I could say I wasn't secretly picturing Luca Toni, but that's just the way it is with us Italian girls and our calciatori.