From Midtown Manhattan
Monday, 6:00 PM (EST)
In order to get to Giancarlo, a hilltop neighborhood across the Tiber, I had to first meet Father Angelo at the Augustinium — Paulo ∆∆, St. Pietro, El Vatincano.
I awake early that morning, in time to visit with my fiancé before his drive to Cinecetta City. We breakfast in the sunshine, shaded by an awning, on the terrace of our Penthouse Suite at Hotel d’Inghilterra. Unusually warm for Rome in November, the waiter serves our espresso, coffee, fruit, mango kiwi juice, pastries, cold meat and cheese. In broken English he marvels at the weather and view. I laugh and say, “It truly feels like an Indian Summer, especially this morning with its crisp, blue skies.”
He smiles as I sign the check, asking where we were from, “New York City.”
“Oh,” he brightens, “you are an Obama!”
I answer as best I can, “Si, si….Grazie. Bella, multes belles, grazie. Alora, grazie millie. Prego.”
My love and I chat over coffee, enjoying the morning. By 9 AM, his car arrives and he leaves, kissing my cheek and lips. I find myself alone on the enormous, rooftop terrace. In a great Ancient City, Roma, I take in the view, soak in the light, the sounds, the smells, the breeze, the colors. I write some post cards, drinking coffee and munching melon slices.
The church bells ring out, announce the late morning. The wind carries them across the rooftops. From the Academie di Medici, the Piazza di Spagna, around the Fontina di Trevi, towards the Colosseum and beyond the Centre Venetia, farther past St. Pietro, I listen to many ancient tones and soft bells echoing all over Rome.
Two giant seagulls (who I nicknamed Cassius and Casca) fly over, circling before landing. They caw-cry-caw. I look up and greet them see their giant webbed feet in silhouette, stomping above and across the huge awning. An SMS message arrives, “I am free. Please call. We go Giancarlo. Love, Angelo.” I call him back, eager to see my good friend, and we finalize arrangements to meet in a little over two hours. Enough time to freshen up, find out how to get from the hotel to Father Angelo’s residence on St. Peter’s Square and not be late. I leave within an hour.
Draft in Progress….
© KHC, 2009/2010