lunedì, luglio 03, 2006

Nowhere to Run

The weather this afternoon has been strange, a metaphor. One minute it is sunny, the next minute it’s raining but there’s still sun. The moments of rain here are interspersed with sun. The growing discontent here is fascinating. One of my classes is taught by a Calabrian who is at best nearly incomprehensible, but still there are bright moments. Extreme situations provoke the most reality from people.

I know I’ve referred to this before, but Italians appreciate clever, shady people the most, for example Silvio Berlusconi. They like those types of people, let themselves be used by them. One of the things that keeps me coming back to Italy is that it is always a challenge. You think you’ve done everything exactly right, and then at the last second, you find out, discover, that everything has been done wrong. It’s constantly a challenge, a game, and one that requires use of the brain in a significant way.

The theme song of this experience is in some ways “Nowhere to Run” by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Right now I’m writing this out in my notebook on a bench outside of the church, because a faint, comforting smell of incense and candle wax emanates and I didn’t want to sit alone outside of the two bars that are open today, because at this time of day, or really at any time of the day, it’s all men sitting outside and I don’t want to deal with it. Also, by sitting up here, I can avoid the professor I’ve just had for class until I can be sure that he’s left town for the evening. He started asking us questions at the end of the class, and I said, speaking for all of us, “stiamo ben cotti, Gianni!”, “we’re well-done, Johnny!” He chuckled and let us go, but not after two hours of incredible difficulty had already passed.

To return to “Nowhere to Run”, today, Monday, I generally don’t have many classes, only about four hours, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. I got lunch at the Bar Centrale, then went back there for a beer and asked if there was anything else to do here today, since it seems like 90% of the town was at the beach today, and everything is closed. The barista said no, not really, this town has nothing. I asked him to tell me if he found something to do.

These hills are just as lawless and nearly unchanged in the last 600 years,. To think that the most intrepid of these people are the ones who went to America!