It doesn’t matter where you come from; a little bit or a lot of your heart will stay in your home country…
It’s exciting, living in a foreign country where the language is not your own, where things are different & new.
When one thinks of a life in Rome, they may think glamour…fun…but realising that home is so far away can take it’s toll…
If only for a brief moment the young lady wanted to be herself away from the scrutiny of eyes she did not know and those who judged her regardless. Was she from eastern Europe, a babysitter, a secretary or a rich man’s lover?
Only she knew the answers, only she knew who she was as the eyes and taunting faces questioned her and mocked. Some of the women perhaps, were even envious of her and that she’d left her country, family and friends to settle in a new one…she looked different this is true and she dressed differently too and of course she sounded different, Italian was not her mother tongue.
Why had she come here, why had she left her home so comfortable and secure? She had been to university, she was clever. Wasn’t she? Doubt filled her thoughts as the countless faces trudged passed her as she made her way home, hands laden with bags of groceries. Only servants trudged kilometres with bags in this city. They were heavy too and she’d had to park so far away.
She wanted to be home, in the confines of her appartment where the eyes could no longer see her and she could be herself.
All paths lead home…don’t they?
Just like Cinderella she kicked off a shoe around midnight. Although it wasn’t a glass slipper, instead a black clog that Paolo detested. She’d bought them when she lived in London. They were comfy, clompy and well ugly…
Paolo had enjoyed their evening together.
He’d wanted to kiss her lips almost instantly…
He prayed that showing her Rome-by-night would make her fall in love with him and his city. The Colosseum, the Foro Italico and Piazza di Spagna were particularly breathtaking beneath a moonlit sky. He watched her, taken in by the exquisite details of her face as she gazed at the beauty of his city’s favourite monuments. He studied her lips, the fall of her hair and her astounding blue eyes as she burst with contagious vitality. She was nothing like the Italian women he’d known. Most of them were still living at home at her age and hadn’t flown to the other side of the world in search of adventure. She was uncharacteristically like no one he had ever met.
She laughed and smiled a lot; not because she was acting silly but quite simply because she was happy…
He felt happy too, really happy and laughing as hard as her made his heart smile.
He had no idea how long she would stay, he knew she was a tourist and their days were numbered.
He’d have to turn on his charm to make her never want to leave…
As the clock in the Piazza struck twelve he knew she was his Cinderella.
Life as a yellow peg in Rome
“The yellow peg slipped easily from my fingertips. I watched as it spiralled to it’s demise. The unclean concrete below had become a meeting ground for others just like the yellow one; a coloured playground. Today the yellow could meet yesterday’s friend the green one.
‘Ciao’, a morning voice broke my concentration. It was my neighbour at the window in front of me, armed with washing and a handful of pegs. ‘Oh, ciao Monica’, we often met here at the same hour of the day, in the same pose. I continued to hang my laundry on the pulley system that had been created in this long trim courtyard in the centre of our apartment building.
‘Merda’, I heard Monica blaspheme as her pure white t-shirt drifted to the ground to play in the coloured playground. None of us ever rescued the pegs but clothing, well that was another story. Once retrieved it would be covered in dirt and grime. It happened to me once,frightened and vulnerable enveloped in the stale confines of the building, I’d grabbed my white singlet top streaked with dust and blackness and run up the four flights of stairs without stopping. They said rats lived below.
How I longed for a hills hoist. The laundry looked so happy hanging there as it twisted and turned, partying in the wind. I would watch it for hours when I went home on holidays. Watched it baking in the sun, whites whiter than white. The fresh and clean smell of happy laundry is something not easily forgotten.
The sun never reached the courtyard, my laundry couldn’t dance in the wind or frollick as it spun around. It wasn’t happy like the laundry back home.”