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John Palcewski's Journal

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They Are Not Ready
forioscribe


 Altar Boy


Jack, The Professor is up in Trieste for some sort of academic conference and Sylvia is in Naples, and I am in need of a friendly voice. Or ear, I should say. Whining is particuarly enjoyable when you can annoy someone with it.

What I’m complaining about this time is how much the Vittoria thing has taken over my mind. I can’t go a step anywhere without seeing someone or something that pulls my consciousness right back to her and this impossible situation. For example, there she is in the religious parade, lost in thought—as usual. And there I am, looking rather foolish with my flower. I wish I had known her when she was growing up in Buonopane. I’m thinking about how close I got to my classmates in elementary school. Remember? You were only a year ahead of me, and you know what I mean. But then that closeness is almost like a brother-sister kind of thing. Taking it any further would almost be incestuous.

I wanted to ask The Professor if the little girl is an acolyte. I thought only boys got that job in the Catholic Church. Mabye this is a sign that even ancient traditions in this country are changing. Which gives me hope that Vittoria might someday shed whatever it is that keeps her from joining me.

As for news, there has been nothing since her short post a week or two ago in which she repeatedly said that she needs more time. Nor have I heard anything from her sister. Just silence, which as you well know makes me whine the loudest.

I went to the lab yesterday to pick up my Ventotene photos. Sorry, the clerk said. They are not ready. I asked when I might expect them. “Domani,” she said.

Frustrations, one after another. In America I’d ask the clerk what sort of business is it that fails to keep the promises it makes to customers. But this is Italy. Southern Italy. When you hear that famous “Domani,” you just smile and say “Va bene, grazie.”



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Folks who have not been seized by a romantic obsession always seem to think those who have are either weak-willed or psychologically unbalanced. Then, WHAM. It hits them, hard, and they finally understand. But then it's too late!

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