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John Palcewski's Journal

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Letter To Jack - Soccorso Sweethearts
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Yes, Jack, I’m permanently ensconced here. No, I’m not making much progress in learning Italian, just a few necessary phrases, like “Vorrei un espresso dopio con latte caldo,” at Roxy bar, or “Per favore, due busta.” The latter gets me two plastic sacks at the grocery store. I’ve decided I will NOT buy a motorino or one of those little Minis because in hauling groceries up the mountainside two or three times a week I get lots of exercise.

The other day I wandered over to the chapel of Soccorso, and at the entrance was an attractive young couple doing kissy face. I have to admit that I got a hot rush of envy. Why don’t I have a girlfriend who is actually with me, as opposed to across the Atlantic, living with her husband?

And I thought of that bizarre episode when Giancarlo brought Vittoria back from Rome, with amnesia. We’ve talked about this before. My brilliant idea was that her memory loss wasn’t entirely a physical thing. Forgetting has its utility. She always said she needed to escape from her enmeshment in that huge family and the suffocating old Italian culture that still ruled it. Suddenly not recognizing any of them—or it—is beautifully metaphorical. Isn’t it?

Anyway, I was intrigued with helping her remember some important things. Like our relationship, for instance. I saw it as a way of going around the track again, but this time without the mistakes I’d made earlier. And of course I was quite upset when I realized that Giancarlo had precisely the same idea. So there we were, two men earnestly courting La Principessa Piccola. I can see the humor in it now. But not then. Oh, no. It was all intensity and high seriousness. You know me, eh?

More later. Love & kisses to Marcia, the kids…



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excellent work John.

vorrei anch'io un espresso, per piacere. :) hello, ciao, i'm new to your friends list. found you via another friend's friends list and said, misericordia, here's a journal i must read! (i lived in bologna for a year as a student back in the 70's and then later in frascati for a few months. haven't been back to italy since '75, but it's always on my mind. sneaky italy!)

just by way of an introduction of self. thank you for adding me to your list in return!


You're welcome! Sneaky, yes. Also permanently engaging.

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