Is it the last vestiges of the virus? Is it Rome? Or some mysterious combination of the two?
As I walk—and cough—my way through this marvelous city my imagination is running on overtime, spinning story fragments out of everything from the pizza I cannot finish (impaired appetite) to the expressions on the faces in art. While crossing the Tiber on the Castel Sant’Angelo bridge the famous angels were just a little too alive. ‘Don’t blink!’ I told myself, as if I were walking through an episode of Doctor Who, but there’s so much more here. There are stories in the cobblestones, fountains, churches, and palaces—stories about heresy, betrayal, world-famous greed & ambition, murder, and more. The layers and layers of Roman history—from before the Empire through the modern era and on to the floods of tourists pouring over the Tiber from every corner of the world. There’s a strange continuity, as if Rome says, “I’m always here. I’ve always been here. I’m the witness to it all. I blink and you are gone and another takes your place.”
I’ll get back to regular blogging when I return to New York. For now… I’m looking over my shoulder, peering into the corners of Rome for more stories.