Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Celebrities Who Have Appeared In My Dreams: Tanya Espanya
I exited the taxi cab in a ramshackle but perfect piazza in Rome with a small suitcase. It was overcast but warm and I breathed deeply. Rome! I had finally made it! I was overcome with joy to have my feet alight on ancient cobblestones and my eyes to rest on elderly Italian women fussing about their daily chores.
"I can't believe I'm here!" I said out loud to myself. The taxi door slammed shut behind me and the cabbie hurried back to the drivers seat and executed a five part turn to exit the culdesac. A flicker of worry crossed my brow as I realized that I didn't speak the native tongue. At least not the one that has been spoken here recently. I could hold my own in medieval and ancient Latin, but that wouldn't get me very far today.
Up above me on a balcony, I heard the giggling of half a dozen or so younger ladies who were making their way down to meet me, all of them with long, dark wavy hair and ready smiles. Tanya and her many sisters descended to greet me. They were friendly and welcoming; making a good deal of fuss about my arrival
I was overcome with a certain muteness, a relic of my shy childhood self, that often over takes me in situations where emotions are obvious and overwhelming. I needn't have worried; Tanya and the ladies took care of all conversation. After they welcomed me they resumed a discussion in medias res, laughing and correcting each other over the events of the day..
We made our way to a Mom and Pop (Mama and Papa) restaurant where I was handed a menu I couldn't read. A stern Italian patroness stepped up to take my order. I couldn't figure out what to order or even how to pronounce "spaghetti". Tanya laughed, the old lady grunted and took my menu.
I realized I was dreaming and felt looming disappointment that I wasn't really in Rome nor in the company of such lively friends. And then I woke up, determined to let the joy carry me through the day and abandon the disappointment in the overflowing garbage cans outside of Mama's restaurant.