You have that kind of hold on people, and dare I say it, on virgins especially. First-timers. Yet the more I came to you, entranced and enthralled, the more I realized that amongst your beauty there were ruins. I began to see your faults because we all have them. Not even you are perfect, actually, you are the farthest thing from perfection. You hide behind this façade of slow dinners out in the piazza at twilight, the laughter of friends over clinking glasses filled to the brim with Aperol, prosecco, soda water and ice, the cypress-lined drives in the Tuscan countryside, a wake of white dust following a red 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta, a silent prayer after wine-fueled nights of passion in a language created for courtship and opera.
Your façade is literally in the façade of buildings that not only house history but are history themselves. You seduce easily, using all these things as part of your armory, but you let only a select few in. I get it. I’ve done it too. It’s a self-preservation thing. So many have thought they loved you until they saw the you without makeup in the morning, with fluorescent lighting after a sleepless night when nothing is going right and everything in the world is wrong. Full of secrets and corruption, of bureaucratic failures and few everyday successes. You like to dwell on the past, your past conquests, your past glories. You live in the past, but this isn’t high school anymore and it’s like everyone grew up around you. You’re vain as well. Sometimes too arrogant to admit your faults but depending on the day, you’re self-deprecating at the same time, quick to react and slow to change.
The others, they want only the beauty without the beast. But Italy, my dearest, you are both. A paradox of sorts and a riddle that can never be solved. And only a handful of us are content with an unsolved riddle, with getting lost in it and with losing ourselves in it. Some people might say that a love like ours is destructive. I say it’s the only kind to live for. Where I am so entwined and tangled up in you that I can’t discern where you start and I end up. To live with you is to be you and to know that on some days, there are ruins in our beauty and that on others, there is beauty in the ruins. You’ve taught me not only about love but of life. I left behind so much for you, sacrificed everything that I thought of as sacred before you came along. But in you, I finally found what is sacred: slow dinners out in the piazza, twilight, the laughter of friends, the cypress-lined drives, Tuscan countryside, a wake of white dust, a red Alfa Romeo, wine-fueled nights, a language, courtship, opera, and most of all and in it all, passion.
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #3 February 2018 - A Love Letter to Italy
Past #DolceVitaBlogger Link-Ups:
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #2 January 2018 - Favourite Italian City
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #1 December 2017 - 'The Italian Connection'
For a bite-size snack of make-believe romance, read these short stories:
Creative Writing: Airport Arrivals
Creative Writing: Tanqueray and You
Creative Writing: A Thousand Lives
Creative Writing: A Sunday Kind of Love
Creative Writing: Perfect Strangers in Switzerland
Creative Writing: Rooftops and Rome
Creative Writing: The Morning After in New York
Creative Writing: Mulberries in Sicily
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