May 23rd, 2003

To The Top

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This morning I went, as usual, to Café Mimi and I began to write Jack a letter. I decided it was about time that I tell him the bizarre and dreadful story of Vittoria’s repeated traumas, the whole thing. I know he's deeply disappointed that I have been holding out on him.

I got as far as “My dear and patient brother…” when two couples took a table next to mine. A gray-haired man and his blonde companion were in shorts, hiking boots, and baseball caps, and from the sound of their voices they were American, probably from Philadelpia. The other pair were in shorts, sandals and sunglasses. Their accent said England.

The gray-haired American put a book on the table. “Isola Verde,” the green island, one of the many tour guides of Ischia they sell in the shops.

After they ordered their coffees the Englishman said, “Well, how was your hike up the mountain?”
“Don’t ask,” the blonde said.
“We were exhausted when we got to the top, but they had deck chairs and blankets so we could take a nap.”
“But it was COLD,” the blonde said. “And pretty soon it got so foggy that we couldn’t see anything.”


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