That evening in Camogli, on the restaurant terrace, I realized that my relationship with Vittoria was more peculiar than I wanted to admit to myself. We were lovers, yes. But had we ever spent the night together? No. Had I ever gazed at dawn upon a tousel-haired sleepy head and said, “Ready for your coffee?” No. Had she ever awakened me with a tender kiss and whispered, “Want to fool around?” No. Not once.
By any objective measure this was a thoroughly ridiculous situation. Which I immediately rationalized with some clever words I’d read somewhere: “Wanting something is having as much of it as you will ever have.” I wrote those words down in my notebook right before the waiter brought my spaghetti con frutta de mare, and I felt a little better.
After my meal, gazing at the glittering sea and the ancient story-book architecture, I decided if that is all I’ll ever have of that woman, well, all right. This lovely place is part of what has made her who she is, and here I am. Aren’t I?