Hello, Jack, it was good to hear that all continues to go well with you, Marcia, and the kids. Please plant a kiss for me on the foreheads of my little neices & nephews! They are such a delight; you have every right to be proud.
You asked about my new residence. It’s a tremendous improvement over my former apartment in Forio. Much quieter up here on the mountainside. At dawn I take my coffee on the terrace, and contemplate the village far below and, on a clear day, the distant island of Ventotene. My landlady Colomba is never around so I have access to not only my own three rooms, but also to the rest of this huge, beautifully furnished villa. Columba and her three children live mostly in Naples, but they have additonal houses in Rome and Trieste. Anyway, it’s pleasant sitting out under the flowered arbor with my laptop. Or browsing through the old books in the library. There’s a high-end stereo and an extensive collection of CDs, with an emphasis on Pucinni and Verdi. A great deal of Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach as well. I’m enclosing some snapshots, but they don’t do this place justice.
No, Vittoria has not come yet. Over the past year it’s been one emergency after another. Not her fault, actually. First it was her father’s accident. She and her brothers and sisters had to fly to San Francisco to attend to him. Then it was Giancarlo, her husband. I told you about this, didn’t I? He was in the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11 when the planes hit, and was hospitalized with a couple of fractured ribs and a bad cut on his head. Despite her rather cool feelings toward him, she couldn’t just disappear. And now…well, as far as I can tell she has some sort of medical problem that she refuses to talk about. She insists her silence has nothing to do with me, with us. It’s her nature to quit communicating when she’s stressed, or in trouble. She also swears that when this problem gets taken care of, she will come and stay for two or three weeks, and we’ll do all the things we’ve been talking about.
And no, dear Jack, I have no plans whatever of finding what you call “a more suitable and, uh, available partner.” You may well be right about everything, I admit it. But I’m not giving up. It’s in my blood. In yours as well! I look at my strange relationship with Vittoria as a good example of what compels couples to marry—a triumph of hope over reason.
Meanwhile my work on the new book continues. Thanks for the clips & reviews of “Tom Quinn.” It appears I have a small but steadily growing audience. My agent says I’m on the right track. We’ll see if he’s as prescient as he claims.
My love to your sweet Marcia. And don’t forget the kisses for the children!