Act 2, Scene 13
I was sitting in the library
working diligently on this very text when the distant sounds of The
Saints Come Marching In snuck in the window. I rushed down the street
to watch a New Orleans marching band tromping right down main street in
Cortona. I was momentarily confused and delighted. It was as if they'd
just decided to start marching and had tromped halfway around the globe,
pumping out old Jazz and Dixieland standards.
By dinner the town was packed with vendors of cheesy merchandise, locals and tourists. It was 25,000 lire for tickets but you could hear the headliners through the whole town - Manhattan Transfer. Later they opened the gates to anyone who wanted to elbow their way through the crowd, and elbow we did. Manhattan Transfer was doing their encore, smooth as expected but not my type of music. We squeezed through to reach Snoopy's gelateria for a scoop and a good view of the stage. They had a killer horn section but drowned it out with Andrews Sisters style vocals that were 100% white bread, hold the soul.
Heather paid too much for a necklace from one of the street vendors and
was thrilled. I had yet to find that perfect souvenir for myself, though
my roommate has some glow-in-the-dark plastic baby Jesuses that made me
smile, plastic gold halo and all. My budget prevents me any extravagance
and I'll likely settle for pictures, this text and all the memories my
brain cells can cling to. I'd also love to get things for all my friends
and family back home but I'm sure they'd rather I spend the money on wine,
women and such so I'll have tales to tell instead of trinkets for the
Day 2 of the Jazz Fest had
a significantly smaller crowd but did provide a comical site - a monk,
complete with gray robes, drinking beer and listening to jazz. Few students
could afford tickets, even if they could spare the time from their studies.
We felt like locals, more irritated with the crowds of tourists than delighting
that they had chosen our small town as a venue.
There are few Ultimate Truths in life but that art historians are a curse on humanity is definite. I formulated a letter in my head to write to George Bent On Making This Trip Miserable. He irritates me on a personal level, but he's also wasted 80 other students final weeks in Cortona with a fucking absurdly difficult, trivia-focused art history test. Next week the torture continues with a research paper. If the paper were any less than 25% of the grade I'd turn in my nasty letter as the paper and eat the resulting grade. Instead I await my test results, hoping I did well enough to resume slack degenerate explorer mode.
The days float by, burning ashes drifting on the breeze, cooling as they fall until they are at last dead. Ashes to ashes, dawn to dusk.
On our daily bike ride today
we finally made it to the top of the ridge and over to the other side
where there is actually forest, complete with ferns and tall pines. We've
seen spots of greenery around Italia, but they're usually small and bordering
some field or town. For thousands of years the Italians have been modifying
the countryside to suit their needs and theyve worked over almost
every square foot. Stumbling across a piece of land without an olive grove,
vineyard, sunflower field, or town was freakish. It was such
a shocking sight that Heather and I both literally fell off our bikes.
We stood and gawked like we'd landed on a distant planet and were getting
our first view of the alien flora and fauna. Funny how you forget the
everyday things when they're out of sight long enough. I wonder what its
like to get out of prison after 20 years? Its only been a couple
of months here and the sight of a few trees can bowl me over.
All original content on
this site is owned by Degenerate Press and cannot be used without our
permission. We have lawyers for friends with nothing better to do than
cause trouble (no kidding), so play nice. Copyright © 2002, All
All original content on this site is owned by Degenerate Press and cannot be used without our permission. We have lawyers for friends with nothing better to do than cause trouble (no kidding), so play nice. Copyright © 2002, All Rights Reserved