Act 2, Scene 7
After a lot of sampling I came
to the conclusion that Italys famed cheeses are not that great.
Each day we get a bit farther
up the neighboring mountain on our bike trips. Its a heck of a climb
but were determined to reach the top. One week we finally reached
a plateau about 3/4 the way to the top of the ridge. The road forked by
a lone pizza restaurant. Signs pointed to a swimming pool on the uphill
fork so we decided wed go that route next trip. A few trips later
we were in shape enough to reach a switchback where we pulled off the
road and admired the incredible view, pretty much the same view wed
had all along just a bit higher each time we climbed the hill. We cruised
off the road a bit on a little dirt path but a few yards off the pavement I
heard the tell-tale hissing of a tire going flat. I hopped off and found
a large thorn stuck in my rear tire. Foolishly, I pulled it out and was
rewarded with even louder hissing. I jammed it back in, even tighter than
it was before, and the hissing slowed.
Heather's friends, Melanie
and Bec, arrived that evening. We
dragged them to our favorite secluded hillside spot with a couple of bottles
of our favorite cheap vino. We lazed around and chatted. Heather told
stories of our journey thus far, they told us stories of their trip (more
on that later), but like most young people with a bottle of wine in them
the conversation soon turned to sex. By the end of the second bottle the
conversation had completely degenerated, culminating with this little
the insane take themselves quite seriously."
Bec is an English woman with
that charming accent that we Americans find so oddly delightful. I say
odd because they dont find our accents delightful, usually quite
the opposite. Bec also has the gutter vocabulary of the English youth
so when her accent has stopped dazzling your ears her words will shock
your sensibility. A true degenerate from the motherland who I respect more
and more each day.
|Another field trip headed out without me. I seem to miss about half of them and so far I'm batting 1000. I always have a great day while the victims come home tired and despondent. On the other hand, Ive enjoyed the ones Ive gone on. The latest tour I skipped was Bologna, with a 3 - 4 hour bus trip starting at 7 AM. I slept in, then went with Heather, Melanie and Bec to Orvieto, a 15 minute train ride away.|
|Orvieto sits atop a pinnacle of rock in Umbria, just southwest of Tuscana. The surrounding lands are covered in orchards that produce our favorite vino, Orvieto Classico, a fruity white wine I still love to this day. We walked across the street from the train station and took to funicular up the rock to the town.||
The town itself turns out to be a bit of a let down - expensive and not that much to see, with a few exceptions.
Orvietos Duomo has an amazing façade, the precursor to the modern media age, as it is obviously targeted at those with short attention spans.
Inside are frescoes by Luca
Signorelli, some really cool ones that unfortunately were being restored
completely covered in scaffolding. We settled for more postcards showing
devils and hell and such.
we stumbled across a local woodworker's shop who's work is in every cafe
and bar in town. Michelangetti, or something like that, does cutesy animals
cut from plywood and layered so that they have some depth and detail.
OK stuff, but what sucked us in were the huge black horses out front,
wooden with leather and metal all over them and big enough to climb. They
looked like they'd fit well in any S&M club back in the states. We
sat on them and had lunch.
Back in Cortona
the cattle who were shipped to Bologna were in the usual post-field-trip
state - irritated. "A waste of time," they said over dinner.
Bec told us a
funny tale that led to yet another running joke for the trip. Her first
morning in Cortona a New Zealander woke Bec up in the hostel asking if
anyone was going to Assisi. No one responded so she asked again, then
again, then several more times, despite everyone ignoring her. Bec didn't take kindly to this and spent the rest of the week repeating
the phrase "Is anyone going to Assisi? Is anyone going to Assisi??
Is anyone going to Assisi???", louder and louder and with
a higher and higher pitch until it was a screaming squeal. Each time
she'd go into the frenzy we'd laugh hysterically but it got even funnier
when, in the middle of her tirade, who should come walking past but the
New Zealander herself.
Last night as
I was showering I heard a lot of racket, yelling, banging, tromping and
the like out in the hall. After I'd dressed I wandered out into the middle
of a running squirtgun battle. I took refuge in my room in preparation
for my evening's more serene activities and later emerged into a big wine
party in the hall. No, I don't mean a big party with wine. I mean a party
with big wine. The bottle was easily three feet tall and a foot across.
In celebration of two guys birthdays, a bunch of the gang were getting
plastered ("frescoed" in Italiano?) Later they trekked up the
old Roman road and discovered our secret field, where several
of the males decided to remove their clothes and run about, as one with
nature. Rumor has it several females were convinced to do the same but the
story gets much hazier there and I couldn't confirm who, how many and to
what degree. As the rumor spread it evolved into a full
blown orgy and I was wishing Id been there to see it, if not partake,
just to know if the rumors were true or not. People are getting a bit
stir crazy in this small town and many have paired off for a bit of summer
romance, or at least a good screw, while others have immersed themselves
in their work and call home every night.
She swung by after midnight sometime to tell me that they met some local guys and she had a tentative date later in the week with one of them, then slunk off to her room to sleep. On one hand, I was glad shed had a good time, but on the other I couldnt help but be jealous, both of her date and my lack of. I had a rather hard time falling back asleep.
The next day I
couldnt take the mess swimming around in my head any longer so I
wrote Heather a letter. Whenever I cant say what I mean, which is
often, I can occasionally write it. Unfortunately for you I dont
have a copy, but I assure you it was a moving, heartfelt, well-written
masterpiece expressing my emotions for her. I gave it to her and waited
while she read.
No, nothing more, just a pause, Oh. And a long silence.
Countless people told me I was being a fool.
reality, sir, is nothing but lies and balderdash and Im delighted
to say I have no grasp of it!"
As you, the reader,
and I, the hero suffer in confusion together heres a little song
by Jimi Hendix, Love Or Confusion, from Are You Experienced?
Is that the stars in the sky, or is it
rain fallin' down
Will it burn me if I touch the sun-uh, yeah
so big, so round
Would I be truthful, yeah, in, uh
in chosin' you as the one for me?
Is this love, baby
or is it, uh-huh,
just, uh, confusion?
O-Oh, my mind is so messed up-uh
Goin' 'round and 'round
Must there be all the colors-uh
without names, without sound, baby?
My heart burns with feeling, but, uh
Woe, but my mind, its cold and reeling
Is this love, baby
or, uh-huh, or is it confusion?
Oh, my head is poundin', poundin'
Goin' 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round
Must there always be these colors?, uh
without names, without sound
My heart burns with feelin'
Oh, but my mind is cold and reelin', uh
Is this love, baby
or is it-uh, huh, just, uh, confusion?
Oh, you tell me baby, is this , uh
love or confusion?
Mama, we must get together and, uh
exactly what we're tryin' to do
Love or confusion?
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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