We rented a car and stocked up at the supermercado with formaggi and tomatoes and salami and olives and cold and hot salads and sat in the small Euro car traffic. We drove past Carrarra marble fields where Michelangelo handpicked his canvases and the waking slaves were probably his realization that the rocks weren’t what he thought originally. It took him two years to sculpt “David.” I wonder how long he worked on it every day, or if some days he didn’t work on it at all. Yeah right.
In Tuscany long light played across sunflower fields and cypresses and olive trees swayed as the roads wound up small hills leading to hundreds of years old stone fortressed Orvieto and peachcolored buildings with touristy kitsch and small German children eating gelato under waving multicolored heraldry and the kulk, kulk, kulk of ruby sweet Montepulciano.
The Baptistery, the Gates of Paradise, the Viale Michelangelo, we lined up at 7 in the morning in front of the Uffizi and I brought the family espresso and chocolate pastries while they waited and I looked out at the pastoral breasted hills and thought of shepherding.
I’d forfeit plans to make money; instead, I find a sheep maid and strum songs to her on a mandolin, write her poetry and drink goat milk after making starry love. Our clothes are lambskin and with the profits from the lanolin I buy golden buckles for her shoes. We live in a hut, but there’s plenty of wine and food. The good life.
Then the day of leaning towers and open lawns and turquoise Mediterranean under ochre cliffs and pastelcolored houses and up the hill to Milan, getting there in three hours (right?) at 150 kpm and you braked sharply for the curve and Dad woke up from his catnap and you reassured him and he fell back asleep. You arrived at dusk and stayed at Hotel Del Este, named after the prominent family, not the direction, and the darkeyed Milanese girls, beautiful animals, returned our looks as we watched them in parties of eight drinking Peroni with pointed steeples and cafes lined in gold light along the canal.
Here’s the post postmodern part: Is everything I just wrote a big cliche?