July 31st, 2002

Not Exactly a Lie

title or description

Sylvia reports that a young mother and father and their infant were killed last week on Spiaggia di Chiaia di Luna on the island of Ponza, when rocks fell upon them from the face of the cliff. Because of the danger authorities closed the tunnel the Romans dug to give landlubbers access to the beach. But anyone can come by boat, and Sylvia says she’s sure that many are sitting there right now, as we speak.

In the middle of the bay at that location, as I’ve said here a couple times before, is a dark rock where some 30 years ago Vittoria’s mother and father kissed for the first time. Back then this simple act marked the establishment of a life-long connection.

“So when will WE become partners for real?” I asked her in New York. “Domani? Dopo domani?” Tomorrow? Day after tomorrow?

“Oggi,” she said quietly, wistfully. Today.

I know she longs for us to be permanently together, but right now it’s just too difficult. Her “oggi” comes from an ancient Italian belief that saying what someone wants to hear is not exactly a lie. So it’s touching, poignant, and sweet. Not devious, calculating, and false.