Dear Jack, I’m always on the lookout for contrasts, dichotomies. This one I might call “The Sacred and the Profane.” That’s Sylvia in her villa’s sunken courtyard, showing off her latest acquisition from the flea market. She loves her beer—especially the German variety.
As for the symbolism of the other, I note two different arms. And both palms contain the puncture wound of a big nail. One is open, as in submission to either fate or God’s will. The other I imagine is about to form a two-fingered “V.” Not quite there yet, eh? Perhaps that soul is in Purgatory being ever-so-slooowly cleansed of sin, awaiting entrance to the bliss of heaven. Patience! Any century now.
Your last post was most welcomed, Jack. You’re right about Vittoria being suddenly thrust to the edge of the abyss—probably for the very first time in her privileged, sheltered life. During most of the day, after reading your insightful words, I felt great sympathy for her. But toward evening that sympathy faded.
I think it has to do with how her continued silence feels so much like a deliberate and uncaring abandonment. I can’t imagine doing the same to her. If, for instance, Vittoria were with me when Mom and Dad vanished at sea, I know I would not just stop communicating with her. If I didn’t feel like talking, I’d just say, “listen sweetie, I’m having a hard time right now and I need to be alone for a while.”
I’d reassure her that great loss can not change my love for her, because they are entirely unconnected and separate things.
What I feel now is anger. I thought of putting a block on her e-mail address so that if she ever does get around to writing, her belated message will bounce right back in her face.
In my last IM with Francesca I was short, almost rude.
“So no news?” I asked.
“No,” Francesca replied. “But her fever has gone down.”
“She is not speaking to anyone.”
“Of course she isn’t.”
Francesca felt the chill. She said nothing.
Finally I said, “Thanks for keeping me informed. Talk to you later.”
Then I logged off before she could say goodbye.
I haven’t done anything drastic. Yet. But I think I’m getting close. Enough is enough.