I was going to make this a foodie post, but then I remembered that I wrote a listicle a few days ago and I’m really trying to make it until at least April before I hate myself enough to do something about it. Instead, I’ll just post pictures of the two meals of note and tell you, dear reader, that they were really fucking good and pretty goddam cheap. That’s me bragging.
But right now I’m typing this on my phone (fucking millennials) amid a practice session for a band I met at Superfox the other night. They seem like they’re good even though their music skews much whiter than I would prefer. Give me the acoustic version of Thugz Mansion over everything (whattup asshole. R.I.P. our doormat).
Real breakups are rough. You leave something you love even though you’re not entirely sure it’s in the best interest of any of the involved parties. Abandoning Florence is bordering on the feeling that I’ve tried to insulate myself from for close to a decade (sorry Steph, you’ll always be my biggest regret). This city has given me an Italian home base and all I do in return is abandon it for Rome, the flashy, shallow whore of Italy. When I finally write a novel about this trip, it won’t end like this.
But we all move on eventually. And at some point today, I think I reached vacation nirvana. And, as is usual in all the things we spend our lives pursuing, it came in the most unexpected place and at the most improbable time.
I ate lunch at a Japanese restaurant (pictured above) and had my wine in hand. Norah Jones’s “Come Away With Me” was playing. The food was impeccable and the service just as good. I was reading a New Yorker article on Fitzgerald. A couple walked in with a baby and the head Chef rushed out of the kitchen to greet the youngest patron. And right then, I felt like I belonged.
I can’t explain it. And it was fleeting as a virginity lost during spring break. But that simple moment, where all those moments converged, gave me a sense of self that I have never felt before. It wasn’t the purpose that I’ve been desperately searching for. And it wasn’t the huge pop that I hoped would come. But this soothing realization that… I don’t even know. But SOMETHING happened and it propelled me to continue this doomed trip despite my conscience repeatedly telling me to go back home and settle for a good, decent life.
But that’s all irrelevant. Right now I’m on my sixth drink and my fifth cigarette (hand rolled by my boy Derek, of house Boston, and granted above average guitar talent). This post was influenced by those as much as anything. But if there is anything real in this world, it’s the longing that I will surely have for Firenze long after I’ve abandoned her for browner pastures. The band plays me out of the bar and into the darkness.