I’m sorry it’s taken so long to make with a second entry. I had some drafts lined up and I scrapped them all because it sucks being this much of a perfectionist (one was even titled “How I Thought I Got STD’s from Rocco Siffredi”… true story, maybe I should take that one out of the trash, flatten it out, and see if I can do something with it still).
But here’s something worth talking about. Underneath this bank-vault-thick wall is a cheeseball romantic who lives for accidentally-timed serendipitous moments like these. And this is sort of a big one.
My bucket list isn’t a long one, but there are some items on there that need to be struck off. The one that sits at the top and hasn’t fallen from its place in the last two years is “1) I go to Italy and I bike through it”. Or “around it”. Whichever— I just have to go to Italy and biking has to happen there, even if it means grabbing one of the crappy bike-sharing-program bikes to chase down a petty thief who’s knocked down an old lady in their way (and oranges tumble out of her grocery brown bags because lol! Oh I love Italy)
The need to bike in Italy is almost dire and I don’t know why it’s specifically this I need to do. It’s not running alongside a pack of lions in the Serengeti, it’s not raving in Goa, it’s not surfing in Australia (mkay, that one’s on the list), it’s not praying in an Istanbul mosque. It’s “biking in Italy”— even though I’ve been told “but Amsterdam’s actually flat and like, enjoyable to ride” and “have fun getting your ass groped” And it’s not just to say “I did that”. It’s because something deep inside of me intrinsically hungers for it without me consciously thinking about it. It feels so intuitive. Sometimes it even feels like faith, because again, I don’t know why I specifically want to do this above all other things that could even be better and more fulfilling. I hear that scaling Machu Pichu is pretty amazing, but that’s probably just the altitude talking. I’m Abraham and I’m being told to kill my son. Only instead of killing my son, I need to update my passport already and scour Hipmunk for cheap flights.
How the fuck do I scratch this insane itch though? I’m tough but I’m vulnerable-looking; a waif that stands yea-high at a buck-ten, a 30-year-old who looks 25 (22 on a good day) and single. My friends have resigned themselves to marathoning Dr. Who and wanting to shit out kids. The idea of doing it alone is super terrifying and I’ve yet to decide if a handful of lustful, swarthy Italian men kidnapping me and running a train on me is fantasy or a true, life-ruining nightmare of mine.
Crossing off this #1 item on my bucket list was unfortunately looking unlikely this year, yet again. Another year passes and all I’ve done is sigh and weep and whimper while I look at Google images of The Dolomites.
So I started telling people (whoever was asking) that it looked like Italy wasn’t going to happen. Again.
Between the time I told the last person I wasn’t going to the time I learned I was actually going (!!!) was four days.
I had dinner with a friend who said he was going to be in Milan for two weeks; one for work and one for leisure.
And then he said, "Yeah, I’m gonna go up to Bolzano to bike."
—Charles what now!?
"It’d suck to do it by myself…"
But I’m sitting right here.
Two days later and plummeting myself $2k in the hole but whatever it’s just money and I’ll make it back working the corner if I have to— I finally had a plane ticket to Italy with my name on it.
Some things you have to force to get going. Other things— you just sit there and it unfolds in front of you without you doing anything. Fate and karma and destiny, I believe in not these things. But moments like these, I have to wonder…
How surreal is this?
Ciao Italia, see you in July.