It was shocking how naked and anxious I felt without internet access. The last two times I went to Italy, were a welcome respite from emails and phone calls thanks to my crappy job at Starbucks. This time however, was vastly different. I needed it to navigate the world outside…I needed its knowledge and it’s American comfort. I also needed to meet the Italians I had met online while in America…it was one of my specific goals to seek out those that were very different from me, and to see if I was capable of love [and sex], even overseas.
But I could not! So on Tuesday I slept. I slept until nearly 4 PM, clearly massively jetlagged (as usual), because each time I attempted to wake, the sounds of cars, construction, and people chatting loudly at the salon right outside, kept lulling me to sleep. I got up and wandered aimlessly around Via Po,
still with my head in a fog, and feeling very anxious. Every conversation I heard was alien to me, and each face I saw was utterly fascinating and beautiful at the same time. I continually noticed the similarities between the people here and in America. Even “across the pond,” people clearly had conformed to a specific identity or an archetype if you will… From the fat young women on the train with her sweatshirt with cats on the front, to the “skater kids,” to men in suits, to ragazzi in tight jeans, loud shoes, and graphic tees. Also… the mother with the down syndrome child, the older man with his younger wife, the goth chick with a muffin top beneath her fishnet tanktop. They were all here as well, which somehow brought me comfort. I even found a place to buy the travel plug adapter I was an idiot and forgot.
At long last I was able to open my eyes and come out of the fog long enough to look to my left and find a cafe with free internet access. I only had 5 minutes left on my battery because I’m an idiot and didn’t charge it, but it was enough to connect with (Online Italian #1) Filippo and it cheered me. I was WIDE awake thanks to jet-lag when CR came home, and after a couple glasses of wine, at last I think we bonded. We connected over fears of others not loving us, and us not loving ourselves, we labeled furniture with post-it notes, we smoked a pack of cigarettes and compared salaries. It had taken a couple of days, but we were getting along famously.