La Dolce Vita
He called out to me as I walked past, “Oh that girl is so fucking beautiful!” I an obvious wandering tourist, he a local having espresso, lounging at a café, keeping his eyes open for his weekend hookup. Of course I pretended to be totally offended by such a brazen pickup tactic, as I consider myself a lady who does not date men whom she meets in the street. But I was alone having the adventure of a lifetime, eating, praying, loving and after all wasn’t a tiny part of me (okay maybe a huge part of me) dying to get swept off my feet? I turned my attention to his, smiled my beautiful American girl best and he knew he had me hooked. The sound of metal scrapping quick across the pavement, rising hurriedly from his chair, to join me walking side-by-side, “What’s your name?” His accent so unique, his voice sounding like the most fascinating, beautiful thing I had ever heard… it was like hearing church bells. No sooner as he told me his name, the warmth and familiarity of his voice, calling to me from another lifetime perhaps, that I knew I would have to have him completely and totally. A brief introduction and a cigarette: British but explaining to me the Eternal City was the only place in the world that felt like a true home to him.
We exchanged phone numbers, and the game was on. Karma pushing us into each other’s lives on a collision course with a force so intriguing and powerful, I am the only woman in the world who stands in the Sistine Chapel for the very first time taking my eyes from the ceiling to my phone engrossed in texts from a man I just met.
It is Friday night, we greet one another in a quiet Piazza, kissing each cheek and my excitement builds as our night begins to unfold. We walk to a taxi stand totally engaged in hyper conversation pinging back and forth. He explains to me where his accent comes from, mother British, father Spanish, and I tell him how I am just really a small town girl, but I fancy myself as a real New Yorker. I ask about his astrological sign and we laugh, as he does in no way believe in these things. We have dinner al fresco in Campo di Fiori; the moon is high and full in the sky…Perfection… It just seems as if this night was written for romance. Street hustlers selling roses, fountains splashing, laughter, music of a foreign language… We hold hands across the table, eventually moving to closer proximity to share kisses. We go to a club, my first in Italy and share my favorite gin and tonic. Typically I scoff at the outdated circumstances of the nightclub and my snobbishness makes him smile in adoration, with a smirk he takes his turn to point out I’m wearing converse sneakers. The evening turned into night and the night into late night. Our date together has flown by; he escorts me home, our taxi speeding recklessly through the streets. Endearing himself to me he teaches me some Italian that I already know and I realize I am going to allow him upstairs.
The sun comes up as we fall asleep. He leaves long after the sun rises but before the morning is over, whispering a line in my ear that I think many women before me have heard.
It is Sunday. I bounce out of bed, happy, energized, bursting to get out into the smoothed cobblestone streets. I am glowing from head to toe, in the way of a woman who has been made love to that has awakened her goddess within. Rome is vibrantly alive too with great energy and I find myself immersed in pure joy as I gulp in what feels like all the love, beauty and magical power in the world. I wander the streets aimlessly with absolutely no goal because I don’t need one; I’m high as fuck on love. Unexpectedly he calls to say work is over, he is going to meet me. My love hangover is intensified and my heart beats fast to think that in a few moments we will be together. I sit on the steps of a nearby Basilica scribbling poems of warm feelings and eagerly wait for my lover.
I can feel our connection of karmic energy. He is standing in front of me, the most bewitching swirling gold and glittery pure positive energy… It is so wonderful the feeling, I am lost in it, and my breath is hard to catch, short and quickened. He greets with an arrogant “Were you just writing something about me?” I coyly deny… but I’m thinking my blush gives me away…
Curious of what sacred beauty is inside, we decide to enter the Basilica. The sunshine and busy streets of Roman spring is left outside as were enveloped into serene coolness. We choose to sit in a straight, narrow pew; he holds my hand. Drinking in the scenery before us we share our fondness for this ominously reverent religious sanctuary, for quiet solitude of cemeteries, and then in our discovered commonalities, for each other.
We kiss with our tongues softly and respectfully. And in the cold, hard, hushed darkness of that church we begin to fall to some thrilling yet unknown place… promised danger of too much to soon ahead, neither he nor I could stop it, that moment you are having with someone, when you know absolutely and unequivocally you are going to fall in love with each other. And so we did.