Skip to main content

Featured

Not me, her

In 1987, I found myself trying to write about a high school girlfriend that had been molested by her father when she was a child. I was 19 years old, struggling to find my way through a screenwriting assignment about delivering character. The idea was to describe messy young love between two Sid and Nancy want-to-be's. But that failed, as I could not stomach oversimplifying her complicated past, events that shaped her life as a 16 year old with a mohawk, a smart mouth, a lingering stare. I understood that I had to start at the very beginning.

No one wanted to hear the story. When it was my turn to read in class, it even came to be that some of the other students asked to stand in the hallway before they heard another description of what happened in that lonely little house in the middle of nowhere. I was trying, and failing, and trying again to get things right, to explain how this happened, how it could happen to this girl, how this man found his way to acts of selfishness and d…

la prima pagina (the first page)

Twelve years since I sat in a loose chair on a piazza, staring off at the rooftops. I was finishing my novel. It seemed easy, after lunches of bresaolo and long walks.

Our bellies are full. N turns to me sometimes, a quiet smile plastered across her face. She has never been here before. 

Squash blossoms, artichokes and a sun that spreads sideways into rooms are the language of Rome. I wander the ghetto, taking pictures of old men as they become silhouettes. We take a walk long after midnight, me still drunk on Arneis and wild boar. The city breathes us in, holds us for a moment then lets us go. 


In Florence, there is a cold wind and a deep blue sky. I call E, making jokes, wishing her sweet dreams. She asks me what presents I have bought for her. I miss her terribly.

Before I left, I gave her my last red notebook. I wrote a message to her on the first page, telling her to fill it with stories I could read when I got back in a few days. Her chin slumped, tears splashing on the empty paper.
"I'll be ok, Pop." She said, nodding once.

I am starting my new book in Italy.
I told her I had to come to write it, just the first page.
"I understand." She whispered, squeezing my hand.



Comments

liv said…
Oh, how exciting! Write, write, write...and then eat some more...and them love that beautiful N and the write some more!

I can imagine how E is missing you. So I hope the presents are good! xo
Mely said…
Enjoy every moment of it.

This entry was like a postcard from Rome.

Nice,

Mely
Oh YES, M. Memories of that first page. Heaven before the hell that follows. But what a marvelous place to begin.... (Rome, I mean.)

Popular Posts

best personal blogs
best personal blogs