Our taxi drive to the center of Florence and the square where our college is located. We were late because wine, sunshine, Byron and Shelley missed the bad students on the school bus in potoveni. The director turned his eyes as soon as he saw us. He is a meaty opera actor, dressed in a small bed, leaning on crutches, with a British accent. Maybe Henry James read too much. Cynthia was still nervous and thought she might be fired, but there was no way. The college has deposited our tuition into the bank. The director reprimanded us instead. - Irresponsible behavior, harmful to groups, etc. It\'s silly. In fact, my freedom Formal education on the African continent is progressing smoothly. Over the past week, I \'ve almost danced with a sailor in Lala, and almost danced with a prostitute from Genoa. Who knows what I will learn in another room and the Italian family is waiting. They will be our hosts in the coming months, taking us as boarders. They were dressed in church clothes and looked uneasy about the agreement they reached. It\'s not funny to invite a young American without culture to your house. It\'s better to lock up the jewelry and majolica. It\'s said to be Cynthia, so are Greg and Jessica. Finally, the director summoned me and introduced me to an old woman with bright blue eyes --- When she is young, the man will fall into the eyes and jump. This is marchesa. She wore a shiny black dress, white hair wrapped tightly with an elegant turtleshell comb. Her cheeks were round and red. She accepted my smile calmly. I was immediately attracted to her. Some people are particularly elegant and have no pain. marchesa is one of them. What moved me was her smile. She can see through my soul. Yes, it\'s ridiculous, but I\'m sure. This may be the first meeting. - There is no obstacle, no feeling of opposition, a purity. She knew I was not doing well in Italy, but it didn\'t get in her way. What is youth for, if not for adventure, one day I will bring her a dozen roses and she will cry. We walked to her apartment at dusk. Marchesa is a bit lame and biased towards her left side. Nevertheless, she is very cheerful. However, walking was hard for me because I had a heavy suitcase on my shoulder. The long taxi hurt my foot. I had Cynthia sit on my leg for hours and she cut the blood flow on my leg. How unfair! I often hope that there is a woman on my lap and it hurts when I get a woman. Marchesa has proved to be in trouble. Her apartment is located on the ground floor of an old palace, where she has six cold and dark rooms with sunshine hanging -- Bleach tapestries. Touch the armchair and you will raise a cloud of dust. The ancestors of the old gold-plated frame are very large. They are the existence of meditation, distant and unfathomable. I can hear them whispering. Marchesa called her family. They gathered in the living room. This is her son, Aldo, a 40-year-old bureaucrat who also lives in the apartment, and his shy wife, lucretiya, and their 13-year-old son, George. -incredibly --a baseball fan. He said to me in perfect English, \"Hello sir. You are from New York. Please tell me, how is the New York Yankees? stride. A few answers I have mastered in Italian are not enough. \"Well, they need a starter pitcher if they want to win next year,\" I also said in English. Mickey Mantel was injured. It was a difficult year for him. George returned to his bedroom with his baseball gloves. He rubbed his pocket with olive oil to keep it soft. It may be a sacred icon through his gentle touch. We sat down for dinner. Marchesa offers light vegetable soup, chewy bread and boiled beef, but not a drop of wine. Almost no one spoke, mainly because of OLDO. He was, frankly, in pain. He ordered. He reminds me of the Eagle. The nose Florentine merchant you see in the painting, bent over a pile of coins. My soul is a blank for him, always a blank. Special chestnut pudding for dessert. The taste was bad for me but I don\'t allow it. Instead, I kiss my fingertips and praise it, a gesture that I pay a high price. Soon chestnut pudding appeared on the table almost every night until something came out in my ear! The fate of Gregor is worse. He landed in a house with a family that worships fennel, and they fed him endless plates with pasta, fried, deep food Fry or eat raw in a salad. By the end of the semester, he had stinked. Classes start. This is a torture. Every morning around 7, marchesa rapped on my door and asked: \"Permesso\" sometimes I woke up and dressed, but more often, my head She put a plastic tray in my station, always the same-- A hard roll, butter, jam and a pot of espresso. She always smiles. I really envy her. I myself long for such peace, such a perfect balance on Earth, but I fear I will never get it. The street was packed with children in school uniforms. They carried books, ran in droves, and were worshipped by passing adults, who threw the books under their chin and patted them on their heads. The children are the real royal family members of Florence, and each of their painstaking efforts must be indulged. After all, childhood time flies. Madonna\'s glow comes from the glowing baby she holds on her chest. The traffic is very heavy. Diesel Smoke, an old bus with hiccups, a motorcycle buzzing like a mosquito. I always hide from the drivers and football of hell. The children kick them back and forth and bounce them off the walls, the cathedral, the monument, and the car. There is not a surface that can be used as a temporary target, even a statue in the square opposite my university. There are many windows in our school. it\'s too bad. I spent my class time staring at the square, hoping I was out there, where real life was going on. I looked at the ancients sitting on the bench, and their bodies were wrapped in coats despite the warmth of autumn. Tough face, white beard, debate who remembers what and why complex. The sun shines on bambini playing in the soil. All the young mothers are beautiful, even if they are ugly. The professor is driving a drone. They have amazing abilities to stop us from snoring. While the Renaissance was still alive, it was tedious to listen to a packed lecture on the Renaissance. In fact, I touch it almost every day. San Marco is near my apartment, where I go and sit in awe in front of angelangelico\'s extraordinary mural. \"Laugh at Christ\" and rejoice. \"He drew them from 1438 to 1445, but they were ready yesterday. The mural is filled with emotion, spirit and desire- I began to share my desire. I aspire to be a part of a civilized world, not a kindergarten in the United States. A world where art, literature and music are all important, in which history exists and is obvious. The ancient palace of Florence reminds me how every human effort ends. - Broken pieces. Not so bad. I can accept it. This is what I think now, but I am still young and not familiar with sadness. Daydream again A song flashed through my mind, a song by Rita pafeng, and a song by pints -- Large belter from Turin, a teenager. She rules every Singing Machine in town, and one day she will be mentioned in the lyrics of Pinke Floyd and even perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. \"After class, we heard Rita when we fled to the cafe --- Divino Roso, maybe it\'s a game of eight. It would be great if we could find a pool table. In the cafe, we talked with amazing energy. We put forward new theories about the nature of existence and make arguments for celebrating our own glory. But it\'s no use-- We are ashamed of the Italians. How sophisticated they are because they linger on a glass of aperitif, their jackets are draped over their shoulders, and their neatly trimmed hands are free to interrupt their words! The only lazy woman who can interrupt their exhaustion is a beautiful woman passing. Then they gasped like dogs. I think cigarettes are important to this position. Sutter, he\'s always portrayed as smoking, isn\'t he going out with Simon de Beauvoir? An intellectual has to smoke, so I want to smoke 10- There is a pack of Nazi party filters every day and a couple are lit. At first my eyes were in the water and my throat was born. I have a bad cough, but I stick to this project, damn cancer. Gradually, I began to feel smarter, though I could not come up with any objective evidence to support those feelings. A month has passed. The grape harvest, the scenery and color of Tuscany red. I bought a cheap bike and rode to the country. I rode along the muddy brown Arno and watched men fishing with long poles. There is rain in November, but it is usually sunny if it is a bit cold. For good luck, I went to Mercato nuchin to buy a new wool sweater that rubbed the nose of the famous bronze boar, Il Porcellino. But things are changing and coming to an end. Cynthia, for example, has an Italian boyfriend. In fact, this is inevitable because these guys will pursue a blonde American. However, despite his enameled and open hair, Guido is not a bad person --necked shirts. He is a peace guitar player and lives with his mother and two brothers in a ruined villa on the Mount Fiesole, one is a Marxist and the other is subtle and sweet One Saturday morning, we all went to visit by bus. Greg sang to the other passengers. As usual, the last batch of drugs he bought in Tangier was torn. Guido\'s mother was in her garden, picking bugs from plants and polishing a large glass of Chianti. The lady showed us the villa, which was very attractive. I \'ve never seen such a wreck before, but she doesn\'t mind. In an old pool, she pushed a few stones into the water. A few minutes later, they splashed flowers. She struck the stone on the retaining wall with her backhand. She seems to be saying, let it crash. Collapse is our destiny. She served us lunch on the terrace. Put some ham and cheese in the wicker basket, more wine and fruit. The Guido strums Joan Beez folk song when his Marxist brothers put forward criticism and correction. Italy\'s politics is hopeless, at best a form of entertainment. Florentine people care about basic things, good bread and olive oil, the intimacy of the family, the passion of the soul. Even farmers recite Dante. After we finished our meal, the mad boy chased the birds in the ruins under an excuse. He likes the game. Happiness on wings! As he ran down a hill and disappeared into an olive grove, his laughter echoed. Jessica and I went for a walk. I\'m still very embarrassed by her side. She is very smart, very academic, and very convincing about her point of view. Smart and witty. Her thoughts attracted me and it was the first time for me. All my girlfriends used to be cheerleaders. They (or I) don\'t need to think about it, but now I\'m in a time of discovery, eager to share my epiphany. Whether or not Jessica is willing, she is the designated muse. I ordered a nazina beer, coughed, and told her how I sat on the loggia in the square of sinoria in the recent afternoon and wrote on my notebook. The tourists left and are happy now. She doesn\'t blink, so I admit I\'m writing poetry. Yes, the poetry is terrible, but the performance makes me happy. I said, maybe this is the way I chase birds. Jessica could cut me into pieces at any time, but she didn\'t. Instead, she listened. Soon we will be lovers. By December, time became my enemy. The days passed quickly and I had to face the painful prospect of returning to snowy University in northern New York. Even in winter, the idea made me sweat at night. I was fidgety in the apartment and tired of OLDO and his daily work. \"Va via! \"I want to shout. Get out of here, Aldo! Marchesa saw how frustrated I was and put a chocolate bar on my breakfast tray. George and I are at least best friends. He treats me like a strange brother from a distant planet, someone who can handle baseball bats and practice hitting balls for defense! This is a valuable talent in Florence and can even be invested. The crowd comes together whenever we play catch-up outside, and I say he\'s going to be the next Joe DiMaggio, which makes Pepe babble and embarrasses George. I brought a dozen roses to marchesa and she cried. Longing to get worse! I skipped classes to visit galleries and museums. I am devouring painting, devouring sculpture, storing impressions and nourishing me in the dark days ahead. The guards of Uffizi now know my face and nod to me in their silent turn. Poor young Americans fall in love with art. can they laugh? He has to go back to the land of Norman Rockwell! Greg and I plan to say goodbye this weekend. We lied to our family that we were going to Rome by train. We go nowhere. Instead, we roll around Florence and immerse ourselves in the city. We wandered from the cafe to the cafe, and in the open air of the Middle Ages, we were drunk, excited and found ourselves near St. Croce -- The air bar was packed with quirky people. They are eating roast pig ears and beating grappa. We slept on the park bench for two nights and woke up with dew. On Sunday, we climbed into the square of Michelangelo Kiero and watched the sun rise from the red roof. Our city! we cry. Gregor sings the basketball for Florence. Then there is the inevitable stupidity in term papers and exams. The hissing sound of the radiator, the professor whose hair came out of his nose. When we have been learning unspeakable things, how can they give us grades? We had a big party at the end of the semester, but it was an empty one. In his wine. Beret is wet and will travel to Paris to try to become a painter (but failed ). Guido proposed to Cynthia, but he did not. She accused him of being an unreliable Romeo. Guido shrugged his shoulders. Cynthia will eventually come to San Francisco and hide her hash tube in Guido\'s fine leather wallet for her in Vicio. Jessica and I will travel to Switzerland, Germany, France and the UK together. We will stop at many clubs and bars and pretend not to have to go home and hit many pinball machines with a hammer. No matter which country we go to, Rita Pavone is still on every record machine. But first of all, I was alone in the square opposite our college --- Once again, check it out. The bells of the church rang, the pigeons slapped, and the pigeons screamed. The sky turned pink. At that moment, I should write in my notebook, \"the memory of youth is gone, the memory of love is endured\", but I have not yet said these words. They are the last lesson for travelers, coming close at the speed of light after years of fact.