My Dear Jack, since you enjoyed those Ventotene pics I sent last week, I’m attaching a few more. Yes, you’re absolutely spot on, Gulia Agrippina was quite a vision, a very sensuous figure. But my interest was purely aesthetic. And metaphorical/allegorical/historical, as Polonius might have put it. I’m serious!
As for the current status of the Vittoria melodrama, well, my girl finally decided to go home and confront her father about the adoption. She got there yesterday afternoon, but I haven’t heard any details yet. In our last conversation Vittoria said she’d let me know as soon as she could, like maybe in two or three days. And I confess that annoyed me. “You said you needed time, and you took 40 days,” I snapped at her, “and now you want even more time.” She replied, “I’m sorry I’m not meeting your timetable here. But this is a huge thing to me. I thought you’d understand.”
You know me. I want things NOW, this second, not tomorrow or the next day. My friend The Professor has several times remarked that he finds it hilariously ironic that an impatient guy like me takes up residence in a place like southern Italy. Oh, well.
Let me ask you, Jack—how would YOU react if you found out that you were adopted? Would that change how you feel about mom and dad? They gave us two, three decades of nurture and support. You can’t ever doubt those two dear people loved us unconditionally. So if they actually aren’t our biological parents, that would not change the gift they gave us. That’s why I just don't understand why Vittoria is having such a difficult time with this. Seems to me that she’d be fascinated by the whole thing, especially if her mother actually turns out to be that famous actress Maria Marrella.
On a more positive note, Vittoria actually spoke about coming here to Forio for a visit, once the dust settles. Yes, we’re back to that. She said it wasn’t her fault that all these things have happened to her. She sounded like she meant it. But I’m guarding against allowing my expectations to rise. She may come. On the other hand, she may not. What’s the saying? Expect nothing, and you’ll never be disappointed.
Now, when I saw this scene in my viewfinder in Ventotene I thought of that summer you and I went on a fishing expedition to the Jersey Shore. Remember the long drive down the Garden State Parkway, and that turnoff that went across the marsh into a village named Ship Bottom? And then up the road through Surf City, North Beach, Loveladies, and then Barnegat Light? That lighthouse, as I recall, was red. This one is white. But there we both are, Jack, eager to catch the big one!
And here is a picture just full to the gills with symbolism. This lovely nymph, needless to say, is my Vittoria, alone on her rock. His & Hers sandals beside her. Mine? Or Giancarlo’s? She looks tentative. Unsure of herself. My heart aches for her.
And then: “Arrivederci! Ciao!” That’s the daily afternoon ferry to Formia, a charming city to the north of Naples, on the road to Rome. Life is nothing but one goodbye after another, isn’t it?