We met early in the afternoon at the stadium by my apartment, next to the currently deserted hot dog and cotton candy stands usually mobbed during the soccer games. All the walls here have been covered with graffiti - cartoons and abstractions and artists' renderings that are nothing short of impressive. When I walk to the grocery store I always end up lingering by this large black and white piece. The lines seem so bold and intentional and I would like so very much to be bold and intentional. Even when my hand shakes.
Waiting for me outside the stadium are my Italian friends: an eclectic group filled with individuals who seem to have just accumulated one another. This group includes, among others, a light designer for runways, a sushi master from San Diego, the requisite guy in the band (which just opened for the Rakes). They have vespas.
My first vespa ride. It was something between terrifying and exhilarating, but I cannot think of the word so I'll just settle on the phrase "best thing ever." Everyone is wearing Italian leather jackets and oversized sunglasses. Some are also wearing oversized egos, but they're young and they're Italian and today, they are the world. The boys drive. The girls ride on the backs, holding onto the mentioned leather and ego.
We take a day trip to Fiesole, a small Etruscan town just outside of the city. There are ruins and Roman baths and stone theaters. There are lookouts and churches and small chateaus with large gates. And everything is green, with a spectacular view of all of Florence. Everyone laughed at me for how much I turned my head on the ride, but I was just memorizing each turn of the cobbled road, already planning my return.
We had a picnic with the city before us and the sun warming the surrounding air. Summer has yet to end here and it seems it may never do so. There was fresh bread and fresh vegetables and fresh seafood in the risotto. There were cheeses I could not name and bottles of wine from Chianti, one apiece. We had strawberries and cream for dessert while playing a strange mind game where we had to make up identities. I was either very good or very bad.
And we were young and we felt invincible. We sat side by side, feet dangling over a stone wall and a fifty foot drop (I am not yet on the metric system). We watched the sun go down, arms around the person to our left and to our right. And organically, we went home to the city.