Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I far preferred the regimented German-speaking territories to the devil-may-care Italian ones. I didn't like that the Internet was spotty, that the road rules weren't clear, and that it took so fucking long to get your check in Italian restaurants. Oh yeah, and, by the way, the bread sucks in Italy. And mostly the pizza is crappy, burnt flatbread with flavorless sauce.
All my kinks got unkinked in Italy. My gray hairs turned ungray. My body and brain and spine were overcooked macaroni as I zoned out to the white noise of the ever-present cicadas. It was a dream, my time in Italy. A sensory dep chamber. The womb, maybe? Less come to Jesus than here's your mommy's boob. If Germany, Austria and Slovenia are the fatherland, Italy is the mother ship.
Consider: My grandmother (who just turned 100) left WWII Austria with my one-year-old father in tow. They got on the last ship out, fleeing the Nazis on a boat full of Jews out of Genoa--Italy coming to the rescue again.
Like my father and grandparents, I was born in Vienna. My formative years were an immersion in the structure and cadence of assertion and order. For holidays, we went to Italy and swam in the sea. My godfather, who still lives in Vienna, does the same. The flat in Vienna, the villa in Trieste.
Is it any wonder I'm forever Daddy's little girl?
We have a little of that going on here in the States. I mean, there's blue states and red states. Yankee pot roast and gumbo. Fir trees and birds of paradise. But the divisions are not archetypal the way they are in Europe. Here in Oregon, there's a mixture of mother/father energy. We have mountains and sea. Desert and valley. It's a bit of a mess, frankly. A beautiful mess, but a mess.
So, dear bloggers, where do you live? Mom's house or Dad's? Do you keep your room tidy, or are you a fan of the beautiful mess?