There is a cat curled on my feet, though, so that helps.
I am eating in proportion to my stress which at this point means its hard for me to stop eating. It is, right now, a tool for distraction, a crutch I’m leaning on in a blinding duststorm. It’s amazing how this process is going right now. It’s amazing how the complexity I spent my teen years and most of my twenties yearning for – a big life with hairpin curves and drama and six-inch heels and love affairs and pyrotechnics – is, in many respects, here. And as much as I can tell you that it is not as advertised or as I imagined it to be, it’s also, to some degree ridiculously great. As much as it has broken me down and stolen parts of myself I thought (and think) are integral and vital, life has also given me a platform to snatch them back. Not without a cost, of course, but to win back a central tenet of my being which is “I will not be fucked with” is worth a bit of a battle. A bit of a slog. Some sleepless nights and some depressive episodes.
I feel, too, that the body is just over that hill. Just somewhere wandering around in Rome, sitting in some trattoria where I will soon be sitting.
Boldness. You. The man that is the medium for the message now. An emissary for greater truths wandering around in memory, in Italian villas that will soon be a part of that vast database, wearing a stained shirt, smirking to yourself about something that always happens offscreen, and laughing at me for being here. I wish, I really wish I could tell you the things I get now that I didn’t get then. I go into your place (because even though it used to be so many other things that had tangential relationships with me -even being a frustrating place of employment for my father) and I think of you. I have to, it is because no matter the pastel wall paint, the smell of food that is slightly off, the new ownership that is incredibly nice (which would annoy you to no end), you’re in the air.
You’re one more reason I realize now that despite my fear, I have to go. Because I can’t do what I need to do when everything is tainted by this Proustian sense of involuntary nostalgia. It compounds. It pressurizes. It weaponizes and I feel the barrel against my temple every day. They tell me to take care of myself. To be sure I’m alright. I am going to take the text at its face and not look for malevolences to rouse my temper. I am going to take care of myself, to be alright, and I see now that means getting out of this town for a while. It’s too easy and too hard here.
I am not waiting for you to come back. I am not waiting for you to leave. Stay, go, it makes no difference.
My bags are packed and my ticket is paid. I am on my journey. Me.