closer and closer to leaving, arriving, and i think of paolo. i think about what we actually are now: the past, a memory, a fond one. above paolo's bed are bookshelves that hang from the wall. an assortment of disorganized radical literature. on the edges, though, are his memories: various items saved from "ex-girls." he calls his past relationships his "stories." i found a picture that i did not even recognize as him, a teddy bear with a heart, these kinds of things. i left three items:
1. a rose that he bought me from a street vendor that i did not want. "--but he's my new friend!!" cries paolo, always striving to help those without privilege in roma.
2. a box of crappy condoms. in fact, i think they were made to sit on shelves, not actually be used/worn. when tabbacchi close at night, there is a vending machine outside the door for important things, such as crappy condoms.
3. a headscarf. my favorite, in fact. day three was the wine-drunk blackout extravaganza in which i met paolo, my designated driver. apparently i took off my headscarf when i was puking on paolo's foot and handed it to him. he kept this, setting it by his nightstand to remember me, which i did not know or believe until later.
paolo bought two rolls of film for his ancient no-bells-and-whistles-point-and-shoot camera. he looked at me often through the eye piece. we went to siena. he took about ten photographs of the campo, in almost the same exact position. what did he see? he photographed me extensively, whether i was paying attention or not. i have one photograph of us together, from my film, and a few of him alone.
fabio writes to me this morning that he photographed his day trip to roma. he says he will show me when i arrive. and i wonder about how these men envision their surroundings. what is it like when magical things become common day scenery? is it capable for them to feel the wonder and magic that i feel there? i play visions over and over in my head and i know i must capture them.
i have a future now, and a past to collect.