While we watched an Italian game show, we packed.
So it was extra easy the next morning to take off after breakfast.
Of course that was after I spilled a whole bottle of water on the breakfast counter “ho sbagliato!” (oops)
Linate is always the super facile airport. It’s like venti minuti – twenty minutes to be there, super easy everything. The plane was fast and we arrived at Napoli. Così pazzo. So nuts there. Thousands of people.
Our driver found us. Paola. Come si aspetterebbe— As one might expect there were at least six quasi-incidenti – almost-accidents before we even emerged from the parking lot. We chatted in Italian for the whole more-than-an-hour. She drove by Vesuvio which thrilled me.
And now – Peninsula Sorrentina. Sorrento. And farther.
We spoke about so many things – and soon we were able to see the coast. Let me tell you – it is blue. BLU. Così blu. I cannot even tell you how blue. Cue Emma.
Everything is blue here, the Tyrrhenian Sea. The sky.
The trees – green. The palms – green. Bougainvillea — fuchsia. Geraniums – red.
How could you be here and not have the heart of an artist?
The roads down to our place are – well – precipitous. Pericolosi, forse. Hairpin turns — i am squeezing someone’s hand very tight. Sto pregando. I am praying.
Laugh at me if you must.
But unforgettable. I never want to forget this.
We decide that we want to take the bus to the next town. The city bus. For two people, round trip, five euro twenty.
We wait for the bus…and we wait.
A woman comes with a van…she asks us
State andando a Capri? – are you going to Capri?
“Nooo”, I answer, “forse loro” – perhaps them…nodding in the direction of the people near us.
“Ahh…”,she says smiling. “State italiani.” You are Italians.
No, I whisper to R, non esattamente – not exactly. Non oggi. Not today.
So we wait for the bus. More waiting.
We dream of having cuoppos (paper cone of fried fish).
Did I mention that we are waiting? For almost ninety minutes we stand and wait for the bus that is supposed to come every twenty-five.
But truly, veramente, how much of life are we waiting? Until this happens or that questo o quello…this or that. We wait until we are more perfect, more healed, more ready – we wait for permission, for the timing to be right.
We wait to be noticed. To be chosen.
We wait to have more, to be more.
We are waiting for the UPS truck. For DHL.
We are waiting to be worthy.
Waiting to be loved.
We are waiting to live — and waiting to die.
Sometimes we act and sometimes we wait – but we have to balance and not get too used to waiting, perhaps.
L’autobus finalmente arrives, very late. It is filled with people.
We stand, holding on for dear life again, around precipitous curves – but now in a much larger vehicle.
I tell R that if we die in this bus there are so many things we no longer have to worry about.
But. We arrive.
We walk. Stiamo cercando alcuni cappelli. Looking for hats. We buy lemon things. Lemon sorbet served in a lemon. Heaven on earth. Paradiso.
We find the cuoppos we can have. I am thrilled. We share a paper cone.
We have un caffè. Il ragazzo – the guy …he tells me in the South the coffee is better.
“Dipende”, depends, I tell him.
“Si, ok” he says, “Dal bar al bar”. From bar to bar.
“Nel Nord”, in the north, he says, “loro aggiugono più d’acqua”, smiling. they add more water.
“Eh”, I say. “Boh.” (I don’t know)
And I shrug. I know this is a classic North/South competition. (This film – ‘Benvenuti al sud’)
When i turisti start pouring in we hurry out of there.
Now it is afternoon. We are lying in the shade reading, talking.
Every afternoon at around 16.00 a boat goes by with a man belting out “O sole mio”.
È il tempo per un caffè. It is time for a coffee.
“Come si chiama”- He asks my name.
I tell him “Leslie”.
“Ma…è un nome inglese” – but it’s an English name, he responds.
“Si”, I say. “…sono Americana”.
“Davvero?” – really?
Prediamo due caffè. – I will take two coffees.
And they are laughing at me
“Americano?” – American coffees?
“Ma sì. Certo.” Of course. I nod.
“Ma con zucchero.” – but with sugar. Clearly they are baiting me.
“No. Nero.” Simple. Black. Niente – nothing added. I shake my head.
They are assolutamente teasing me. Being an Americana.
“Ma si piace legge e dolce…” But that you like it light and sweet…
“No.” – I say again.
It is an inside joke that I understand.
The guests here are American, British, German.
Only a few Italiani.
There is a very, very old stone tower above us. On the top of steep cliff. Who am I kidding – everything here is steep cliffs. Some children here think it’s a castle. Il castello, they say and point.
But it is for defense. To see far off. To be ready. Per essere pronto.
We are ready – almost. For what is next.
We finish our caffè – after all, they are small.
We turned the cups upside down.
Facciamo così per guardare gli immagini.
We do this to look at the images – per fare un previso.
To fortune-tell. We learned years ago from Ilgaz.
We are trying to get a clue on what we will face next.
We are waiting a week, two. A month, two. For things that we cannot even imagine yet. But for now.
For now we do wait.
Stiamo aspettando – we are waiting.
For now we have il blu — the blue.
‘Someone will remember us
even in another time.’ (Sappho)