The room. It’s small and sparse. Tile floor, high ceilings, white walls, simple furniture–a white wardrobe, a bedside table, a twin bed, a plain white desk with a green plastic chair. I have littered the room with a suitcase full of my things, arranged neatly to make it feel familiar–a scarf across the back of the desk chair, my robe in the bathroom, my necklaces laid neatly on the bedside table–one that arrived from Canada in the mail yesterday–a gift accompanied by a letter and sea glass, beside it a turquoise one I bought myself the week I moved to New York, (my mother insisted it was too expensive and I would never wear it. I have worn it almost every day since). Next to it are a couple leather strands carrying silver bells I bought in a bead store in Bali the day I visited a healer in the jungle who did magic on a tumor in my brain. There’s also a gold anklet that my grandmother took off her own ankle and handed to me when she picked me up in a cab at the airport in Miami because I told her I liked it. There’s a beat up bottle of lotus oil on the table that I purchased in the little store beneath the hotel where I stayed in India and have been carrying around in my purse for years. I wear it here even though it makes the mosquitos come. It reminds me of things I can’t put my finger on.
The shower floor is lined with partially used shampoo bottles collected from various hotels, and I use different ones, different smells depending on my mood. On the sink are a line of samples of creams that feel good on my skin and might keep wrinkles away.
On the desk sits my computer, a desk lamp, various wires for different electronic devices–phone, kindle, iPad, computer, ecig. There’s also a box of cereal, an avocado, a green apple, a cup full of trail mix, a bag of cookies, a coffee mug taken from the dining hall–now used for pouring wine into, a jar of peanut butter, and a couple pairs of sun glasses. The skinny book shelf above the desk holds a small stack of books–one by my dead teacher, Les, and I haven’t read it yet and it seems funny to do it now. There’s also three hats, a row of bottles of herbal supplements I started taking on my first trip to India, and a litter of pages with Les’s markings which I now carry around like they are the bible.
My purse sits on the bedside, in it a toothbrush, kleenex, a chocolate bar, Italian cigarettes, a notebook, some pens, a few make up items, even a spare pair of underwear left over from when I thought I might stay over at Lindsey’s hotel. I packed it just in case. We told ourselves it would be an early night, nearly falling asleep into our spaghetti and clams (Which we can’t stop ordering even though it will never be as good as in Venice) served up with house wine at dinner time. But then we got a second wind and ate gelato, drank wine, went to another bar with an American bartender and the Black Keys blaring and pictures being projected on the walls. “The Blob,” it was called. I went into the alley and smoked a cigarette while Nick and Lindsey ordered us more red wine. Only then did I realize how alone I felt, how drunk I didn’t want to be.
We play foosball and dance a while and I start having fun again. We head to a karaoke bar where Lindsey blows everyone away. No one expects a professional at a karaoke joint.
I sing “I kissed a girl” by Katy Perry with Lindsey because it’s the only button I can get to work on the broken touch screen and the irony is almost too much to bare. We talked all night about a certain girl I can’t get off my mind. We laugh and I let Lindsey do most of the singing.
We sip spritzers as Nick sings and then stumble home in the dark and up what feels like a million dark stairs inside the building where they are staying. It was built in the 1300’s and was at one time a prison but is now an apartment building with a bed and breakfast on the 5th floor. They insist I sleep at their place. I don’t fight them. I’m glad to be with them. To not go home. I’m feeling lonely and confused. Their room has two twin beds pushed together. Lindsey gives me a T-shirt she wore on the plane and they crawl into one bed and I end up in the other with Nick snoring at my side and Lindsey snuggled on the other side of him.
In the morning I wake to the sound of the shower and their voices and laughter. I text the girl a picture of myself in my undies and T-Shirt in the hotel Mirror because it looks sort of cool with the red walls and the mirror reflecting the strange wallpaper and because it’s kind of sexy and she is always asking me to send those things.
Nick gets out of the shower and comes out in a towel and I go into the bathroom with Lindsey where she is doing her make up and I get in the shower. We laugh and joke through the shower curtain about how we took the “thrupple” to a whole new level last night with the three of us sleeping in one bed. I’m cracking up and water is going everywhere and somewhere in the other room Nick is saying something about Lindsey’s shorts looking like PJ’s but in a good way.
We eat breakfast upstairs in what feels like an attic and then go to the museum to see the David where Lindsey and I share one headset for a guided tour and are tethered together because of this for the entire walk through the museum. A two headed monster. Nick laughs, takes his own tour. I’m happy and tired and missing Lindsey already and she hasn’t even left yet and is still tethered to me. It’s been so long since I have been home and being with her makes me feel a little more grounded, like a remember who I am.
In the museum we are star struck by the David. We didn’t see it coming. The size alone is stammering. The sun coming in from the sky light with the moving clouds is hitting his ribs in such a way that it makes him look like he is breathing. We spend the rest of our time pondering what it means to be extraordinary. The David is extraordinary. Michelangelo was extraordinary. Extra ordinary. We decide it means being bigger than life. That it requires risk and sacrifice and balls and guts and gusto and love and joy and charisma. That sometimes it requires pissing people off. It requires getting back up when you have failed. Not letting anything get in your way. Not giving up. It means living up to your fullest potential no matter what the world says, no matter how they call you a witch, a heretic, threaten to burn you at the stake. We utter this with our bottom lips heavy, hanging even, as we take in the magnitude of David. We move slowly baffledly (Made this up), this new, partially troubling information entering us like a thick ooze. We move slowly through a mud of understanding and last nights wine. My insides tremble. I want to take the world down off it’s hinges and eat it bite by bite. I don’t know how. Time is slipping. Reality is sliding. I’m not sure if I can do any of it. Extra-ordinary. I’m not even sure I’m any good at ordinary. Sub ordinary? No that’s something else. Under-ordinary? Less-ordinary? Maybe I’m doing it all wrong. Backwards. Maybe not in a good way. Is that extraordinary or just extra-strange? Extra-stupid? Extra-lonely?
It’s hot outside and we get lunch and then I have to race home for class. I catch the bus at San Marco just in time to get back and I feel a little funny walking into Villa Natalia in last night’s clothes–a black dress and a leather jacket. I change and wipe the sweat off my face and print my pages and run to class eager to stuff myself with things, with words, with wisdom that might create a bomb in me. Something extraordinary.