We would talk of the real world (home) versus the fantasy world (life in Italy). We found it fascinating that as the weeks dwindled and dwindled they started to clash against one another more and more, competing for space and priority. Everything became about this strange tug-of-war between the faded connection with back home versus the known time-limit connection with Italy.
Life abroad isn't perfect all of the time. But it's just life. And life happens no matter where you are. There are good days and there are bad days, regardless of surroundings. And whatever its transgressions, we could not help but fall in love with life in Italy.
There's this beautifully tragic quote by John Irving that says, "What is hardest to accept about the passage of time is that the people who once mattered the most to us are wrapped up in parentheses."
December. We danced through the streets, strung with lights, not daring to sleep the last days, just in case we miss anything. Left before the sun came up. You sang the beginning lines of "leaving on a jet plane" into my ear as we hugged goodbye, my cab waiting impatiently. And we all left. And in fits of sleep and tears and air turbulence we were back in our own respective time zones in the real world too soon.
We're finding out if the real and the fantastic can be harmonized. No parentheses needed just yet, Irving.