Browsing "Nibbles"
Aug 8, 2007 - Nibbles    No Comments


i came here because i don’t know where else to go. some place that i can pour out my heart and be true. i feel bad because brian is hurting, but its so hard to comfort him. he told me that i’m selfish, and he’s right. i am broken, and the more that night is dragged out over and over again in my head the more i fall apart into tiny fractions of frisures of shards of soul. as i see myself from brian’s eyes i must wonder do i even have a soul? seeing the images in my head i hate myself for being so broken. for sitting there and taking it. for being fearful. he pulled my hair and yanked my head back. any cry trying to escape was trapped in my throat as it closed from the angle. i thought of veronica in that moment, and i felt sorry for her. other than that i remember legs. what a strange and literally disembodied memory. i don’t know why, but i distinctly remember three times. i guess i could be wrong, i guess it could be that it was one instance, and just three moments of clarity, but i really don’t think so. i wonder how it is that i could have lain there, freezing, in a bed soaked nearly edge-to-edge in urine.

yeah, so it’s all a little unreal to me. i can’t quite grasp everything. i can’t piece it together to understand how it is that i ended up here. it seems so long ago that i was happy, that life was good, we were solid and stable and meant-to-be. then the next day it was over. but i don’t have to recount that, the heartbreak is written out in my previous entries.

i just keep going over it again and again. i feel so stupid. i had been so happy. happy relatively speaking. i was so happy because brian had to have sent him to check on me, to ask me out. i was happy to be going out. i was happy because it meant brian was thinking of me. i texted him as i was driving there “where is my lemon drop martini”. i don’t remember if there was one waiting on me or not, but that’s what i drank. i don’t know how many, i don’t remember what else. i remember him protecting me from the other guys when they started pushing too much. or at least that’s how it seemed to me. i thought i was safe. i thought it was a good night. i think i beat him in pool. i remember that it was a good night. i remember being hopeful about us. i wasn’t boring, and he’d tell you that we had fun. there was hope. it seems to me that i was looking forward to going home. to climb into my bed. i announced i was leaving and headed out the door. he followed, and then his friend. they said i shouldn’t drive home. i resisted, i wanted to be home. as i told reed tonight, i had a secret dream that maybe you’d show up, or be waiting on me. but i relented. i knew you’d be happier that i didn’t drive.

i just thinking of how i thought i was safe. i asked for pajamas. i crawled into bed. i couldn’t tell you whether or not he was there. whether or not he was asleep. i felt safe. i was safe. and then there was the nightmare. i cried. in the morning i woke alone. i dressed. i went home.

i showered and i cried. i picked up the pieces, and i carried on. what choice do i have than to be okay?

Jul 7, 2007 - Nibbles    1 Comment


Last night I went to eat at “Baffetto 2” again. I took my book, Suite Française, and was seated solo on the alley at a table adjoining another. A lovely and elegant Italian woman and her friend, a Frenchman, were seated beside me. They noticed my book, and conversation ensued which carried us through the rest of the evening.

This morning at noon, I met them for coffee to discuss their recommendations for travel in Tuscany. I was thoroughly embarrassed to have arrived nearly ten minutes late. In any case, Cesarina and I are to meet again tomorrow at 11.30 for coffee and conversation.

This evening I’m meeting Rachel and we don’t have any plans as of yet.

I am also a bit sheepish to report that I’m pleased that I cleared out my email inbox—there is just something liberating to know that you’re not entirely behind! However I still have a growing list of things to do cluttering my mind, most importantly I need to transcribe the Ode on a Grecian Urn, and the Archaic Torso into my journal and memorize them!

Jul 6, 2007 - Nibbles    No Comments

Galleria Borghese: Bernini, Caravaggio, and Raphael

Pitch: Metamorphoses

My Sketch, a response to “Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius“:

Slackened form the burden to bear
that no man may slander

Each in turn holding onto
that life’s moment makes precious

At life’s end, he grasps his deities
ever conscious of the hereafter

Son, man, head-of-household, it is family that he ponders
It is on the strength of his back that his family is saved

Cuddled, cowered
Young carries the eternal flame, his life just began

Family escapes, life unscathed

We toured the Galleria Borghese today, and it was an inspiring experience. Bernini’s work is prominently showcased here, with Apollo and Daphne, David, Pluto and Proserpina (or The Rape of Proserpina), and Truth Unveiled by Time. Bernini is a master of a moment in motion captured in marble. I was also intrigued by the amazing detail in Canova’s Pauline Bonaparte, a sculpture of Napoleon’s sister who was reluctantly married to the reigning Prince Borghese. She was a scandalous woman who when asked how it was that she could pose nearly naked, blithely replied “Oh, there was a stove in the studio.” She left a legacy of tales regarding her jewels, clothes, lovers, the “negro” who carried her from her bath, and the servants she used as footstools. Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love, elements of the painting symbolizing “fleeting happiness on earth” and “eternal happiness in heaven”.

There was also a Raphael room which displayed paintings of the Florentine School, and allowed you to view the master with his teachers in a progression of technique.

The Galleria Borghese is simply one of the best in the world… it is as magical as The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. which stunned me with their Rothko room, and their amazing collection of recognizable pieces, including Luncheon of the Boating Party.

Jul 5, 2007 - Nibbles    No Comments

Caravaggio: Out of the darkness comes light

Pitch: Chiaroscuro

This morning we had a Caravaggio walk to start off our first morning back. It was really nice because we met up at 9.30—which is pretty late for us. We walked first to S. Agnostino’s Basilica where we viewed the Madonna of the Pilgrims (1604-06). Interesting to note, the model was a prostitute and her babe in arms. There was also Raffaello’s Prophet Isaiah as well.

I wrote my poem on the painting of Madonna of the Pilgrims.


From darkness comes light.

Fingers splayed holding ample flesh of shifting child.
Legs dangling, foot so close to the hand of one who entreats him.
Lines formed from child to follower, eye to eye, to sole of trodden foot.
Mothers gaze awry.

Perspective drawn so that we are too—only ever to gaze up upon him.

From darkness comes light.

Next we went just around the corner to Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi where Caravaggio has three pieces: The Calling of Saint Matthew, The Inspiration of Saint Matthew, and The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew.

These were amazing pieces showing his deftness of composition of motion, movement and light. One day when I get time, I want to overlay these paintings with circles and lines showing the perspective and motion in composition.

Finally we trekked out to the S. Maria del Popolo again to revisit the Crucifixion of Peter and the Conversion of Saul. Matt let us in on Caravaggio’s life a bit, explaining of how he ran from Rome (he killed a man—a friend of the Pope’s, and was found to be sodomizing young boys), then was fast-track knighted elsewhere only to be hunted again when he was found to have done something so vile it could not be written (and thus forever undocumented). The Borghese’ entreated the Pope to pardon Caravaggio because they were desperate to have him return to Rome and their patronage, and finally he received word that we was welcomed back. However somewhere north of Rome he disappeared and his body was never found. Remember that he would paint his pieces with consideration of where they would be shown in mind. This is what makes the pieces in S. Maria’s so intriguing, because the butt in your face, or the horses hindquarters towards alter are no mistake. He also liked to paint feet dirty, gritty and real, which was an often an issue for the Church’s taste. He had to repaint The Inspiration of Matthew because they wouldn’t accept the grit and grim of the first. Hence Matthew’s odd stature where he looks like he’s off balance and going to fall off the chair. Caravaggio didn’t hide bitterness well. (The horse’s hindquarters are facing the altar piece because he wanted to do the altar piece but they commissioned another artist instead.)

Jul 4, 2007 - Nibbles    No Comments

Miseria in Capri

So we met up this morning at 8.30 to head into Sorrento to catch a ferry to Capri. Off to a good start. We arrive and first thing locate the stand to buy tickets for the Blue Grotto. Unfortunately the Grotto was closed for hide tide/dangerous water. Consoling ourselves, Rachel said the only way to see the Blue Grotto is to come back on a friend’s private yacht. I agreed. Instead we took the boat around the island which was actually quite lovely.

Back at the Marina Grande we picked up a sandwich and fruit in the deli then followed the Germans to the bus up to Anacapri. From there we took the lift to the top of the hill. It was an interesting experience. The photos of the view are from the top. The view is well worth the €7, and it’s a great spot to eat your lunch. On the way up there was an curious spot where someone who loves to collect trinkets obviously lives. I captured a few photos of it on the way down.

At the bottom again we determined there just wasn’t enough time (given Italian bus dependency) to go to Lido del Faro. Instead we picked up the bus headed to the bottom again. We got off in Marina Piccolo and wandered around in the streets overstuffed with shops. There was one, 100% Capri it was called, that had the most amazing linen clothes. Of course they thought so as well. The shirt I lovingly fingered to revel in the texture was only €240!

We worked our way back to the main piazza where I was delighted to find a limone granite stand. I bought two while Rachel grabbed tickets for the funicular. Finally back at the bottom in Capri’s Marina Grande we decided we wanted off the island and would rather relax in Sorrento. We spent the last hour together wandering Sorrento’s market streets where I picked up Baba Limoncello while Rachel found an Italian copy of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury.

We arrived at the station with my bag and a ticket in hand just in time for me to board. (I’m thrilled—I get to see Rachel again in Rome this weekend!) Somehow the train just wasn’t the direct one that was noted at the station. Instead it stopped at every stop along the way, and even rested for about 10 minutes somewhere in the middle. I arrived in Napoli a little late for the train I wanted, and instead ended up on an express for just €10.50. Not bad.

I shared a cubby with a 25 year old Frenchman who spoke about as much Italian as I do, and no English. We communicated well enough though, and it was nice to have male company to ward off the unwanted kind.

I got to Rome’s Termini at about 22.45 immediately picked up the autobus #40 and was home before midnight. Happy to have escaped Capri, sad to have left Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.

Jul 3, 2007 - Nibbles    No Comments

Positano & Amalfi

Last night I walked Rachel down to the end of the street, and then headed back up to climb into bed exhausted. We were to meet after her class for our trip into the Amalfi Coast. I had a cappuccino and cornetti at the little snack bar outside her language school—Rachel is taking Italian lessons for the week—and lost myself in my book, Suite Françiase. At about 11 we caught the bus to Postiano and were proud of ourselves for having secured seats on the right side of the bus. Most of the view for the first portion was actually on the opposite side of the bus. I was bonked squarely on the head by an annoying little man who we would continue running into on the trip. He had slipped trying to take an ill advised photo leaning out the window of the bus. I had perverse pleasure in that none of his photos would turn out very well. He must have had short man syndrome, he had definitely earned the right!

The views were breathtaking and when we arrived we walked the highway most of the way down to the beach. Along the way we found a tiny local deli and had fresh sandwiches made. When we reached the shopping portion we ate on a little stoop. I reveled in the limone granite that we found, and we took a brief moment to appreciate the view of the city from the water looking back up. It was nearly three so we hiked up the hill quickly to try to catch the bus out to Amalfi. Unfortunately we arrived just moments too late and the next one wasn’t to come for an hour and a half! Tired, sweaty and suppressing crankiness, we almost literally bathed in the fountain and settled in to plan our trip to Capri and the Blue Grotto the next day.

We were happy to see the little man’s interminable family leave on the bus heading back to Sorrento, but we were joined but another clueless family whose father loudly proclaimed that they had been waiting the longest yet weren’t able to sit. I just looked at Rachel with a slight smile. Yeah, right.

Amalfi was cool. Honestly at the moment though I can’t remember much of it. Isn’t that horrible? I’m writing a day behind and the atrocities of Capri are looming and overshadowing my mind’s memory.

Back at home we picked up a bottle of wine and baba limoncello from the supermarket and then headed home. Showered and then started a lovely little evening. We ate the other sandwich from earlier, drank the wine and had baba’s for dessert. We tried to share photos, but the internet connection wasn’t working again. Venturing downstairs we had an unsuccessful run-in with the night guard who just wasn’t having it when I tried to explain how we needed to reset the router. Oh well. We stayed up late chatting—the front desk calling near midnight to ensure my guest would not be staying the night—Rachel roused and headed back home. We decided we Capri could wait for 30 minutes in the morning for extra sleep.

Jul 2, 2007 - Nibbles    No Comments

L’Antica Trattoria

I took Rachel up to see the view from the pool area, and she fell in love with the hotel and the city too I’d say. It is an amazing panoramic view of the city pushed into the mountains all the way to the sea, and stretching out as far as the eye can see. My patio view isn’t half bad either, just not from the same vantage point. We finished my bottle of wine from the night before while sitting on the veranda.

So then we walked into Sorrento arriving just in time for our reservation at 20.00. Stepping into the restaurant it was easy to see we had made a great choice. The ambiance was unbelievable; I kick myself now as I realize I didn’t take a photo. Tables were properly set and waiting for water, champagne and wine. Aperitifs were brought out as soon as we were settled into our seats, champagne to follow. We were served an arrangement of delicious looking breads, and then we were served another with two very special rolls to try. We both went for the traditional tasting menu and we weren’t the least bit disappointed. Everything was unbelievable.

Today we’re either heading down the Amalfi Coast, or out to Capri. I’m meeting up with her after her Italian lesson and we’re going from there.

Jul 2, 2007 - Nibbles    No Comments

And then I met Rachel

So I woke up this morning thrilled to be on holiday. The air conditioning was perfectly tempered all night long; the sun was streaming in through the patio doors at just the right amount to let me know that it was indeed morning. I rolled over and dosed a bit more. I made my way upstairs for breakfast and a cappuccino that was made from a machine (can you believe it?!).

Back in my room I read for another chapter before deciding that, indeed, I was going to the Lido Meta Mare that Rick spoke of—alone. I took the train into Sorrento (the opposite direction of my ultimate direction) and wandered the square. I had originally considered having lunch in Sorrento, then picking up the bus from Piazza Tasso (Linea A) but then realized it was too early as it was just noon. I wound through the narrow alley of shops and knickknacks and back to the square to make my way to the sea. At the bus stop a girl came up and asked the woman beside me if she knew where Line A was. (I had confirmed I was in the right place with the shopkeeper standing watch as there was no listing for “Linea A” on any of the schedules posted at either side of the street). I turned and confirmed that she was in the right place. We started to chat with my attitude being just a bit reserved… why, I’m not sure, but this I recall. We learned we were both alone and hanging out, first I suggested dinner, and we sought our mobile numbers, which incidentally neither of us knew. Then I told her I was on the way to the beach, and she mentioned that she happened to have her swimsuit—we were on our way. And that’s how I met Rachel.

The sea was lovely, there was only one other international couple there that we ran into on our way in. Otherwise it was just us and the Italians. It was a rather large beach split up into at least three sections, and beyond large rocks and the public beach there was another section of beach just for the cluster of hotels. Entry was cheap, and the services were also inexpensive.

We’re back at my hotel for a brief shower, to finish my bottle of wine from last night and then to meander into Sorrento for dinner.

Jul 1, 2007 - Nibbles    No Comments

Serenity in Sorrento

I write sitting on the veranda overlooking the sea, Mount Vesuvius shrouded in fog at its base and church bells warning all of Mass (it’s 19.00). Two cannons shots dot the air with plumes of smoke at the nook between two mountains at the edge of town. It really is amazingly beautiful here. I started reading my book, Suite Française, on the train on the way here. It is moving, and I have a new appreciation for the writing given all that I’ve learned in the past two weeks.

Backing up a bit, I booked the hotel online last night and couldn’t really locate directions on how to get there (other than go to Sorrento).

I headed to the Termini this morning at about 8.30am (after cappuccino at Joe’s, of course!) and was dismayed to find that apparently “Seats may not be occupied at this time”, or something to that affect, means that the train is sold out. I bought a ticket for the 10.45 train (EuroStar, a fast one, not a bad trade) first class (that’s all there was) and found a place to relax and read overlooking the station. I reflected a moment or two on how I hadn’t had any issues with pick pocketing and wondered if I might observe some in action if I watched carefully enough. But my attention just wasn’t into it.

Time for boarding the train came quickly, the hour passed as if it were far less, and we were off. First class is nice… Cozy chairs, tables for working on, and stewards who serve juice and biscuits just as an airline. I sat across from an attractive young Italian with a humble—or perhaps uncertain—air who mistook me for being Italian myself. Arriving in Naples I found that I couldn’t yet buy a ticket for the local train, then realized that’s because they’re for sale in that area alone (like a bus ticket). Got on the train at the right platform, but it was bound for a slightly different direction. I, with many other Sorrento bound travelers, we redirected by the conductor and soon enough the right train came by. I took it to the end, just as much as the directions I did have instructed, and wandered down to the Foreigner’s Club to ask for a further idea of where my hotel might be. I knew I was out of the general area when they asked if I had a car. I had lunch at Ristorante d’Ante, or something close to that, and then took the train back one stop to Sant’Agnello.

Getting off I had a general idea of where I belonged (there was a map in the Sorrento station listing the hotels) but there wasn’t much signage to assist in getting my bearings. I headed off, at this point quite sweaty and ready for the pool, certain that I would (eventually) find my way. Streets were deserted; it was siesta time on Sunday. Ironically I wandered down a street (hoping to find Via Italia at the other end) where Hotel Angelina was. That’s where the girls were staying. Sure enough as I approached passing by the gate I heard familiar voices. They were surprised to see me, and the receptionist gave me a map to point me in the right direction.

I headed back the way I came, now bound without a doubt for the pool, stat! I found the large tree he referred to and headed up the hill. And then there was another hill. Then I finally came to the top, at least to where I belonged, my face as red as a ripe pomodoro and shining with perspiration of exertion I checked in at last. I was delivered to my room, and I showered and headed for the pool. More reading of my book, and finally here I am. Cannon’s are still going off in the not so distant distance, and the sun it setting with people finally moving to join me on the veranda. The crowd is an older casual aristocratic sort, mostly French. I’m having dinner in the hotel tonight, most places in town are closed, and apparently the restaurant here is quite good according to an enthusiastic recommendation from a gentleman at the pool. I made a reservation and have requested a view. Choosing what to wear unfortunately took but a moment. I didn’t bring much (my laptop and all else in my backpack) and I wish I had something just a little nicer. Oh well, it will do.