Act 2, Scene 18
Day 1 of rollercoaster week kicked off with highs and lows, though not yet breathtaking. In attempting to study art history I ended up lazing around on a bench overlooking the valley watching amazing clouds go by, instead of reading a single chapter. It was like I was a kid again, imagining different shapes in every passing splash of white.
Afterward, Heather and I took
a slow bike ride, still sore from the previous day's 5-hour marathon.
On the way back we clambered up a wall, and got scratched to bits, to
pick a quart or so of blackberries. Yummy.
It was late in the season so the sunflowers were beginning to droop. The huge blooms were turning brown and tilting towards the ground, as if bowing their heads in sadness at our immanent departure. (I didn't get a picture, so the one of the view on the right will have to suffice.) A couple of hours later we ended up a few towns down the road lounging on benches behind the train station to eat lunch. We napped a bit, like homeless nomads, before a thunderstorm woke us up and we headed for cover to watch the rain paint the buildings one shade darker. We got soaked on the ride home and the trip back up the hill was tortuous but the adventure was well worth it.
That night in art history Beth
was visibly upset but wouldnt talk. I let it go for the time being
and grabbed Heather to catch the bus to Tonino's villa for the programs
going away party.
Day 2 of the last week in Cortona
started with the aforementioned hangover and a general grumpiness, not
aided by the hordes of tourists in town for the beef fest. But another
poor attempt to study art history ended up cheering me up with all the
marvelous distractions Cortona has to offer. Heather and I biked up the
mountain to the neighboring town in an effort to vent some anxiety about how
much studying she wants to do for the art history final. (I use the word
"town" as an Italiano would. An American would label two buildings
and a chicken coop as a crossroads at most, but in Italia it's a town.)
Afterward we sat in the courtyard pouring over the books. I had to agree
with our guest speaker - we'd spent too much time studying art and not enough
time enjoying it, much less producing it, so I let my eyes roam from the
books to Heather and did a quick sketch of her.
The test arrived. I had it
all in my head, but it was the most poorly written test I've ever taken.
Each essay question could have been an entire semester of class with a 300-page
book associated with it. By the end of class my hand was a throbbing,
The beef fest was amazing.
It took over the entire park, half of it just for the massive grills.
For a modest fee you got a plate with a steak, straight off the grill
and so large it hung over the
edges of the plate, and vino, bread and veggies
to boot. Even some of the vegetarians jumped ship for the event and sucked
down pound after pound of bloody meat. Excellent. But Heather was in a
mood, a funk, a state of PMS or something and retired for the evening
while I hunted for Lena.
Unfortunately all the busses stopped running for a national holiday and all the cabbies were at the festival so I worried about how on earth Lena was going to get from the train station down in the valley up to Cortona, particularly at night. So I left a note at the dorm and one at the hostel where she was supposed to stay and went out in search of her. Its not that big a town, but it was swamped with festival-goers so I was amazed when I spotted her walking down main street right towards me.
Lena had had her usual good luck with people and stumbled across some folks headed up for the fest that gave her, and her massive backpack, a ride up the mountain.
We caught up with each others lives en route to the hostel. It had been a long train ride from Spain, where shed been vacationing for the summer. She told tales of Barcelona, I told tales of Roma. She moaned about her husband. I moaned about Heather. It was a good bonding session.
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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