And so, here we are, my daughter and I, spending time together, enjoying each other’s company.
Since Andrew died, Florentina has coped with her debilitating sorrow by keeping busy, weekly therapy and by virtually never being alone. Anything other than that and she would not be as well as she is now.
But in life, I have learned, corners cannot be cut. Sooner or later, one has to face ones “foes.”
They don’t go away, they might go to sleep while one is busy or with friends, but they do wake up and demand out attention sooner or later.
Away from New York, her therapist, and all her friends, Florentina is facing hers now.
I am glad we have this time together before we leave her in Rome later this month. And I am glad, really glad to have some great friends in Rome who can serve as locum parents if need be.
“And I’ll fly over if you need me. I will,” I assured her, and this served to make her cry even more. This time with relief.
And there is another thing, Sicily is a hard place. And Like this tantalizing ancient Island, Sicilians are a mixture of beauty and beast.
How else could such an ugly thing as Cosa Nostra, have been born here?
How else could so many people have been killed so violently and with complete disrespect for the living and the dead?
Tombs desecrated, tongues and other bodily parts cut by way of sending a message?
Where else would a customer complain that the ice cream cone is too small and the seller respond that that way “You can stay on your diet?”
Customer service is not a concept that many Sicilians are familiar with.
(Nor, in fairness is Ryan Air actually. There, I thought I’d remind everyone again. If you want service and your luggage or compensation in liu of your misplaced luggage, do not, I repeat, DO NOT FLY WITH RYAN AIR.)
But for all that, people are hospitable, ready to laugh and party.
Big, grown men are out at night walking the streets while they lick their ice cream in a waffle cone.
Indeed there is so much to say about here that the rest, along with much else will have to go into my Memoir.
Anyway, we are copying, Florentina and I.
And today we had our hair done by the best hairdresser who’s ever been!
My Zio Giovanni, my Uncle Giovanni, my mother’s younger brother and my beloved friend as well as my Uncle and host.
I have been to several hairdressers in several countries in my life, and no one has ever come close to cutting my hair as well as he does. And it is not just how he cuts hair, it’s how he styles it and his eye for color.
Being a hairdresser was his passion. He didn’t want to be anything else, and didn’t eat until he found someone to take him as an apprentice, the rest, as they say, is history.
And that history today, includes a head, mine, full of lovely, warm highlights.
“Anyway,” I said to Florentina. “They’ll grow out.”
But for now the change is FUN.
Thank you, grazie Zio Giovanni.
Baci e abbracci,
PS My kitten is so sweet. We look at each other with mutual interest, but I haven’t dared stroke her yet. What do you think, should I?