Feeling like Frodo


I felt a little like Frodo.

It seemed to weigh me down; it was certainly irritating – but only after the moment when V came in.

V has changed and, yet, still the same.  He remains, probably, one of the best looking guys I have ever known.  I am sure (no, I know) that in some ways, I held him back all these years and I am happy that he is starting to live the life he wants.

I did wonder how I would react on receipt of the information (much earlier that day) but, strangely, or not, as the case may be, the reaction was one that took me a whole day to work out.  I just couldn’t seem to get my head around how I felt, how I really felt, inside, underneath it all.

What I mean to say is that there was a certain amount of shock (although it was entirely to be expected) which lasted a few moments and then….. well, then, nothing really.  After 20 years, did it really only take 6 months or so for it to be, finally, over; for the feelings to change so much or, looking back, was this actually ‘in the making’ for the last few years.

Of course, just like an old pair of slippers, being with him was so comfortable, in so many ways.  Being apart is certainly hard in other ways.

And then, finally, yesterday, we met again, on mutual ground, to ‘swap sofas’ and other things – except none of that worked out quite as either of us had hoped – but he was a changed man, superficially but substantially enough for me, at sight, new things, still thin (too thin), too there but still beautiful – tall, dark and handsome – but not for me, I’m afraid.

And then I saw and then it started to feel heavy and itchy and, although I only had it on for two days (two because he was supposed to have come round the day before), it had to come off as soon as possible.  And so it did.  Now to be put away with other things, forgotten until that ‘one day’ when you open up the box and have a sudden pang, a sudden flashback, to better times.

And, although it meant a sleepless night (or, at least until 3) it was only because I couldn’t work out how I felt.  I thought it might be something different than how it was, somehow.

All strange.  Not expected.

At one point, I thought of Willow and realised that is what I want us to be like for (in) the future.

And, this morning, I am so positive for no real reason that I can fathom.  Even, I could say, a little excited, again for no real reason.  But I really want it to continue, to be on-going.  Still set-backs will come from time to time I expect.

Bits and Bobs from Unpublished Posts

Is that someone waving or just a shadow or a strand of hair on the lens?

The chasm is made up of many things; separateness in things done; an ‘unknown’ part of life – that can never be recovered, reclaimed. Friends are not friends but pawns in the whole game and, like wounded animals, they fail to understand the reasons for the hurt which is not even really intentional.

And my heart bleeds for the chosen road; with the emptiness; for the chasm that has become so big. My heart bleeds and yet there is nothing to stop the flow for the heart must keep beating, pumping, working until it may burst, just to give life to the body that remains.

And if, but it is a big if, things should change in the future and things become something similar to how it was once, before the drifting, these things will not be discussed – or if discussed then only in a very superficial way as if, by discussing them thus, it minimises the impact, minimises the importance. It certainly, as we know from experience, reduces the suffering.

I know he knows.  I hope he knows.  I hope he doesn’t know.  I don’t know if he knows.  I don’t know anything.

I have already told him.  Sort of.  Kind of.  In a roundabout way.  In an obvious way.  In a subtle way.  In a way (of any kind).  Not really told him at all.

I know that what I know is nothing and I want to know everything unless, of course, it is better to know nothing, in which case, I need to know everything so that I can take the informed decision of whether I should know anything or not.  At which point, it is, certainly, too late to know nothing.

And yet, in spite of that, I want to scratch it and I don’t want to forget and I want this pain as if, by this pain, I can tell that I’m alive and that there is hope for me even if there is none.

I hold the torch aloft as if my life depends upon it but unsure if anyone can see the flame.

Even the acrid smell of the dog piss, not there in the cooler morning, but now, with the heat of the day and the many dogs that will have been there, especially now, later in the afternoon, when people come home from work and take their dogs to enjoy (?) the dog areas and do their thing, even that, which reaches into the back of my throat and makes me want to retch, cannot take away my happiness, although I do hurry by, perhaps a little faster than I would or should in this heat, which, now I have reached Milan proper, has fallen to 35.5°.

After the smell of dog urine, it should be a pleasure to be away from it but the smell is replaced by that of humans. It seems like deodorant and perfume sales are down as there are no perfumed smells to be had in this hot city only stale and fresh body odour, as sharp as the dog piss and just as hateful.

She’s a cantankerous old biddy and, I think, slightly crazy as she also seems to beg although I cannot understand her Italian which could be dialect. They (the assistants) all know her in the shop and, undoubtedly, she knows them all by name. She hollers after them and some try to help whilst others try to ignore her.

I remember, because of updating the last post, which is to go live in about 10 minutes, to put the ring on, which is good, I think.

I wish that I had remembered to make you ugly beforehand and then, maybe, all this wouldn’t have happened as I could have focused on the ugliness that I could find – and I would have found something and I would have made that important and overriding and essential even if there was nothing really (and there was/is none) – and then it would have been alright.

Although you had been there before, some years ago now, that was only for a period.  It was expected and you stayed for a while.  Then you went missing although I didn’t really miss you.

The Real Life Game Show


It’s the mornings that are the best or worst depending upon what has happened.  They’re the times when my head seems to be straighter, less complicated and when, sometimes, everything seems to be ordered and I am able to see, in retrospect, the things that happened in a different light.

And so it was this morning.

To put it mildly, I have been a right chump.  Worse, still, I have not been ‘listening’ to my friends, old and new, and all I’ve thought about is myself.  Well, as Best Mate said about herself, it’s time to get my life back.

For some, it will certainly mean an apology, for others, just letting it be and for some others – well, I don’t really know the right path but I’ll do one or the other.

The difficulty, of course, is a) to see things from the outside, as others do and b) it doesn’t mean that just because it was all obvious this morning it will mean that tomorrow it will be the same.  This road to some sort of sanity will have setbacks, stumbling and, for certain, falling flat on my face – but this morning is a start anyway.

For those of you who know me in real life and read this blog (the few of you), I can apologise here first – although, for most, I will also have to do it in person.  Don’t think that this means I won’t be as bad next time you see me but, at least, I may be able to keep it all in check better than previously.

One of the side effects of this morning’s new ‘revelation’ was that I thought about relationships and got quite sad at the fact that, in the end, I would settle for so much less.  That doesn’t mean I would be unhappy with it but that the settling for something means that it will be so much less than I really want or need.

The other night, A & I were out.  I intimated that I had almost given up trying for what I want.  A was surprised and said I should still go for it – but there is a great risk involved, of course.  As with anything in life, you have to choose whether you would rather have a little something (far less than you want) or go for the big prize and risk getting absolutely nothing at all.

To be honest, in this case, I am still in two minds.  This morning, I just thought how stupid it was to go for the big prize and then, a few hours later, I am still wondering if the big prize is actually, possibly, available and by settling for the thing I could get, I will miss out on the prize.

Sounds like some crappy game show, doesn’t it?  One at which I am the only contestant.  The difference is that, as with all these things (perhaps even game shows), the getting of the big prize or the settling for something much less, the risk-taking for what could be all or nothing would have, possibly, such an effect of my future path in life that it becomes all important.

Here I am with (maybe, unless I have already fucked it up completely) a possible £1000 which I can walk away with or a possibility of £1 million if I play the next round.  Imagine then that, in my mind at least, I have a 50/50 chance?  That’s got to be worth the risk, surely?

But what if the chance is actually zero?  I should, of course, take the money and run.

And, whereas in the game show, there are odds that can be worked out, in real life, the odds are more difficult to predict unless you already know all the answers, which I, quite clearly, don’t – else there would be no show as I would do the thing that would give me the most and be satisfied with that.

The thing about a ‘real’ game show, of course is that, at the very worst, you walk away with nothing – that is, nothing extra.  The reason why we are (I am) so undecided as to which way to play is that the ‘real life’ game show can mean walking away with less than you came with – and that’s where the actual risk comes in to play.

So, to play or not?  I feel I should play, on the basis that one never got anything by sitting on one’s hands and, at the end of it all, the possible loss, although it would sadden me, would not kill me.  However, the playing, if it is to be done, has to be done very, very carefully to stand any chance of the big prize (if, in fact, the odds are not zero, which they may be anyway).

You are the audience and I am being asked if I wish to take the £1000 or play for the big prize.  Bear with me while I think about it, please………..

Hugs, kisses, lies and sofas


We hug.  I kiss her on both cheeks.

‘I hate this part’, she says.  I agree.  We hate it for the same reasons.  Being from the UK, hugging, invading one’s personal space – always difficult, always intrusive, always uncomfortable even if comforting.  ‘Let’s just get it over with’, I replied.  And that’s when we hugged.

It isn’t like we don’t want to show how much we care for each other.  We do it twice.  Once when she arrives and then before she goes through the gate.  Not in between, of course.

It’s different with a lover, naturally.  That is more intimate and, therefore, hugging and kissing is possible.  Although we care, we are not lovers and so this is all just a little hard.

‘Thanks so much for coming’, I say for the umpteenth time.  But I am really grateful even if, whilst she was here, I found myself going back into myself.  Still, the weather has cooled now and I am back at work with plenty to do so I can bounce back.

A few days earlier: V phones me.  Will I swap sofas with him?  To damned right I will!  Perfect.  Apparently, even if he has a bigger flat than me, the two-seater will fit better than the three that he has.  And I still get to keep the chair and, maybe, will get the footstool.

‘Someone offered to buy the sofa’, he said, ‘but I didn’t want to split it up’.  It was a strange comment as the suite is split up.  One part not even in Milan right now.  I don’t know what he means.  As I’ve said recently, I am failing to understand most things that people say at the moment.  I don’t ask as the answer may not be good and I don’t want him to lie nor tell the truth as neither will be suitable.

He has the keys to his new apartment and is obviously happy, I can tell by his voice.  I am happy for him.  There may be a tinge of sadness/jealousy/anger but only a tiny little bit.  I am genuinely happy for him.  I hope he can make it all work.

More recently:  I receive an email with the address.

‘I wanted you to be the first to know’, he writes.  Except I know I’m not the first.  This comes back to my previous post.  Better to say nothing than something that is not true.  Was it supposed to make me feel good?

It’s not that it really matters but there really was no need to say anything at all and less to lie.  Some may say it was a white lie, to ensure that my feelings are not hurt, as if I am the most important person in the world to him – which, quite plainly and rightly, I am not.  But, I would rather know the truth or not be told, which would be even better.

Still, we are communicating after all and I know him better than to trust the things he says.  This may not be the communication I was waiting for but it is something.

And, the sofa is welcome as it means a better place to sleep for guests (or me).  There will still be room for everything else, I just have to move one small chair.

And now to work and the other work, both of which need some of my attention.

The (stupid) games we play


Lying on the bed, resting, reading, waiting for the time to go, I am struck by the thought that the games we play with others, and our partners in particular, are decidedly stupid.

I wonder what this world would be like without these games, without the subterfuge, with honesty and forthrightness.  Sure, it may hurt sometimes but wouldn’t it be so much better?

What if we all said exactly how we felt?  If we were pissed off by some comment someone made to us, what would it really matter if we told them that, actually, we didn’t appreciate the comment?  If someone made us really happy with something they said or did, rather than just saying ‘thank you’ it would be so much nicer to be more effusive and tell them that they have made us happy.

Instead, we pussyfoot around, saying less than we mean or cloaking it in words that say nothing (or, worse, the opposite).

Oh, and before you start on me, yes, I do the same.  In fact, a friend recently told me that my blog was ‘oblique’.  See, there’s the thing – I didn’t think it was.  Well, again, that’s not entirely true.  Some time ago, when some of my readers were unsure of, for instance, whether I was a woman or a man, I didn’t think it was oblique just that I had been rather clever in disguising it – not that it was important one way or another and, actually, I became rather smug about it, which, when I look back was rather snobbish on my part and for which I am not proud.

The problem, I find with this blog is that, although I want to tell the ‘whole truth and nothing but’, I find it difficult when many people I know read it.  It is, of course, one of the beauties of having an anonymous blog – but, having started one of those, I find that it is hard to write, since I can mention no names or places or give any indication of anything that might find people tracking it down.  So, in itself, it is not satisfying enough – using it for some details that, if I’m honest, I am just too scared to put here.

And, the fact that I am too scared I also find unsatisfying and so, I think anyway, my writing remains oblique – satisfying sometimes and dissatisfying at other times.

Not long after V & I split, for some reason that I do not recall, we went for a Chinese during which I got rather drunk.  I think (but was not sober enough to remember all the details), I told him the truth.  The truth of the last couple of years and what harm had been done and, therefore, why we were here, at this point, sitting in a Chinese restaurant, apart and estranged.  I don’t think he had realised.  It made me sad that he didn’t realise and now I think it is sadder that I wasn’t more open with him in those two years.  Perhaps, if I had have been, things would have been different?  I don’t think so, but you never know, nor will ever know.  At least it would have given him (and me) a chance.

I have posts that I have posted and then withdrawn and posts in drafts that I felt didn’t say what I wanted them to or, worse, said nothing (much like this one probably) or ones (well, one anyway) that I am too scared to post.  And still posts that were written and never put up at all!  All kept but all should really be trashed for, if I didn’t post them then, perhaps they should never be posted?

Take the last post.  All of it was true but that doesn’t make it the whole story; it doesn’t give you the true picture, the true picture being much more complicated than a simple blog post.  I mean it was a beautiful day in a pretty seaside town and we had plenty of laughs along the way – but to blog that means nothing without the side that I did blog about.  The beauty of that post is that I can explain that to Best Mate and she will understand as with her I can be more honest than most.

People usually ask if V reads this blog.  The true answer is that I don’t know for certain but think that he does not.  I’m not sure why, other than he doesn’t really read blogs at all and finds them boring, I think.  I have no problem if he did anyway, unless he took some of the things I have said and thinks that they are about him as some of them are not and, therefore, he might get the wrong impression or, like the post before, see just one side of things without the full picture.

Of all of them there is the one (not posted) that I reread often.  I wonder if it would make a difference if posted and on more than one occasion, have had the mouse poised over the publish button, swinging the cursor away with logic and, for that time, grateful that I did.  I guess I may keep that one as I like it for many other reasons.

Even posting this post is dangerous, maybe.  Or, rather, not dangerous but being too honest even by saying that I am not giving the whole picture and that the obliqueness of it all makes it difficult to decipher what is really going on in my head or in my world.

Still, I will post it anyway and, maybe, next week go through the old stuff, the drafts and so on and trash/use them/use bits of them.  It feels time to get rid of some of the trash, like a spring clean, even if this is the start of Autumn.

Spit Roasting and Irrationality

The spit roasts are everywhere, turning, slowly, occasionally to ensure even cooking – but the smell is all wrong.  The sight of so much flesh being burnt makes me take my glasses off so that I can’t see all this so well.  It’s ugly and I fail to understand it all.

The day was full of irrationality – irrational fears, irrational thoughts but not, thank God, irrational actions.  It was a promise made some time ago and that was a long time ago in terms of the feelings. Oh, true, I didn’t want to say ‘yes’ but did as I thought when the day came, it wouldn’t really happen but the day came and a promise is a promise.

Irrational fear 1.  I had got the name of a place from N.  I looked it up. I have no printer so could not print the directions but it looked straight forward enough.  In the UK I would have had no problems.  The signs would be easy to follow, the road numbers always marked, the names of the places logical and in order.  Here, that is not so.  And so I must memorise the way and what I very much hope are the correct things to look for.

I always thought that, as I got older, these things would go away.  It seems not.

So, I am nervous which, in itself, is so stupid but I force myself to do these things in the hope that, at some point, the irrational fear will go away.

As soon as we set off, I wish I were at home, in safety.

Irrational thoughts.  I eagerly await communication and get none.  Even making excuses for it to a dear friend, even when I know the excuse isn’t valid.  Don’t get me wrong here – I know there will be no communication but there’s always hope and, in my irrationality, I also know that if there was communication, it would change everything.  Well, maybe.  So I wait, with and without patience, it doesn’t matter which.

I am not looking forward to reaching our destination because at the destination there is Irrational fear 2.  It waits for me like a huge monster with gaping jaws, ready to swallow me.

I always thought that, as I got older, these things would go away.  It seems not.

I toy with the idea of getting lost, on purpose so that the destination would never be reached.  But that’s stupid too as anywhere in the vicinity of the destination would be good enough, so I might as well get there and get this bloody day over with – it has to be done, after all, a promise is a promise.

The journey is taking longer than I thought.  We set off too late but in my fears, I wasn’t as fast as I should be.

I nearly miss a sign and wonder at how, in all the time I have been here, I rarely miss a sign even if it is small and insignificant and, in this case, above normal ‘seeing’ height.

We arrive at the destination.  We got straight there with no mistakes, of course.  I wonder if it would be plausible to say we should leave immediately to go home, thereby alleviating Irrational fear 2 completely.  We go for lunch.  I can’t eat.  I mean, I eat but I’m just not so hungry, playing with my food, eating slowly.  I think the beer may help, although 3 or 4 would be better.

Irrational fear 2.  Lunch is over.  I have coffee, just to make it last longer.  But I know this is not going away

Irrational thoughts.  Every song that plays seems to have a personal message for me; every book or word I read seems to be saying something.  I know it’s not true – I’m just looking for stuff.  But, even if I tell myself that, it doesn’t make it better; even if other people tell me that, I can’t quite believe it isn’t true.

The heat is intense although, with a breeze, not like Milan.  I say that we should have been here yesterday when Milan was 40° and decidedly stuffy.

Irrational fear 2.  N had told me there were some free areas but these were a long way out and, anyway, it would be worth paying for it.  We pass a free place immediately.  We go to the next ‘not-free’ place.  The nice lady explains it will be €15 each plus extra for the things we want.  She then adds that, in any event, there is no place.

“I wouldn’t have paid that price anyway”, I was told.  That’s the English for you – but then, I am English and of the same opinion.  Plus, since I don’t really see the point of this at all, the whole thing doesn’t make sense to me.  To be honest, nothing makes sense to me these days.

We go back to the free place.  The spit roasting is marching on apace.

Everything glistens in the sun.  I don’t glisten.  I sweat.  I inherited this from my maternal Grandfather.  It all pools down into my belly button – an insect could have a swim.  I must look, within moments, like I have just come out of the shower, my hair wet, sweat running down my back, my neck, my forehead – getting in my eyes and making me curse.

Stones stick into my back, my arms, my legs.  I look around (with glasses) and wonder why these people do this.  The sight of bare flesh not an attractive sight – people always (well, normally) look better clothed.  Even me, now, with my flesh that has gone a little bit wrinkly and saggy.  But, at least I’m not as bad as some.  I take my glasses off anyway and everyone looks decidedly better

Irrational thoughts.  I lie back and close my eyes to the glare, feeling so uncomfortable because of the sweat, the stones, the heat.  I wonder if he has the same thoughts as me and, knowing that he doesn’t, hope for it anyway, playing out all the scenarios in my head (except, as I told someone the other day, the one where the answer is ‘no’ since that is over in two minutes and has only a future that I would settle for (and be happy to settle for) but is not the one I desire).

After some time I slip off my shorts.  After some more time I go into the water.  It is dirty and horrible but cooling, even though I know that within minutes of being out I will be the same as before.

After some time, we dress and go back to the same café for a drink.  We only have the ride home now.  I am tired, not having slept well with the Irrational everythings.

We arrive back, sleep for a bit, then go for a beer at the Belgian café, then a Chinese at my favourite place.  I am happy now since the day is over and can joke about going there again tomorrow, knowing that we won’t.

Irrational thoughts continue though.  The waiting continues.

The other day, someone said that, previously, I had been completely irrational at times.  It made me smile since, I am sure, I was completely irrational all the time – but it was a kind thing to say that all the same.

I always thought that, as I got older, these things would go away.  It seems not.

Incurably romantic


Best Mate and I are friends for unknown reasons.  This is what we decided when we were chatting.  We have nothing in common, really, except, perhaps, some slightly strange sense of humour.

We also decided I was an incurable romantic whereas she is, most certainly, not.  And I am incurable because, quite simply, I do not want to be cured!

We would do opposite things when it comes to men and what to do with them; how to react to their actions (or non-actions); what to expect from them.

Of course, these differences are based on our experiences which are not even remotely similar.  She was led down a long, windy, garden path a few years ago by some asshole; I have only been down that path by making it up in my head and not through the antics of some bloke.

So, still, I expect a bloke to be, more or less, honourable, true and reliable which is, for most of the time, what I get.  I expect a bloke to fall in love with me easily and quickly and forsake all others.

Of course, with the exception of V, I have had close relationships with these men before we actually got to the ‘being together’ bit and V has, somewhat, spoilt my expectations, which I fully appreciate.

However, when it comes down to it, Best Mate doesn’t want to go through all the shit of having a bloke and I do (I mean, I’d rather not, but needs must, as they say).

And so, I have decided to do something about it.  After all (and certainly in this country, as I can never spot them in spite of what Ico might say – unless they’re the type I don’t like), they ain’t gonna be picking me out as I walk down the street and instantly falling in love with me, so I guess I have to do something to show I am available.  Given that I really can’t be one of those blokes over 25, standing on the edge of the dance floor, looking only at those who are under 25 and wishing (and, anyway, I don’t want someone who is so young, even if they were interested in me) or in some pub on my own, it will have to be some other way.

I’ll let you know how it works out (if anything does work out) but I have, at least, started one thing so we’ll see.  I can’t just sit around in the flat, however nice it is, as they certainly won’t be finding me here!

In a different country from me


It doesn’t happen that often.  Not even as often as I thought it would and this is the first time since I had the crazy period.

Yesterday was V’s birthday.  I texted, of course, about quarter past midnight, to wish him a happy birthday.  He replied with a thank you and said something that I just could not reply to, so I didn’t.  If I had said what I had wanted to say then it would have been wrong.

Later: I have this overwhelming urge to get back together with him.  I don’t think it was the birthday thing, just a feeling that came over me.  It would be easier to be with him then anyone else.  It would be comfortable (though, not necessarily nice or good or right).  We know so much about each other (which is both good and bad).

It passes as I knew it would but there’s a little piece of me that still has that feeling.  It would, of course, be crazy to do this and I know that and, anyway, it could not possibly work.  But it doesn’t stop the thinking.

Someone I spoke to today asked what he had done to celebrate his birthday.  How the hell would I know?  Why ask me?  I said, instead, that I thought he would be out with colleagues (I purposely didn’t say friends as this was someone that thinks they are his friend).  But, still, it was a silly question to ask me unless they thought that I was out with him.  But why would I be?

And so, after all these months (more than half a year), it hasn’t entirely gone away, in spite of the time; the last meetings; the crazy period (which, almost, stopped all these thoughts and, certainly, changed many things – at least in my head); the fact that he is so much thinner and, in my opinion, does not look the better for it.

And, his text response makes me think – what the fuck do you want from me?

Someone wrote to me the other day:

Look, it is really hard to me to guess what other people expect, especially if they are from a different country. I started my studies as a wizard but, unfortunately, I have to work, sometimes! Anyway, with a little help, I could figure out the different desires, like in a “treasure hunt”

[Note: this was written to me for me to use and not to me directly, if you see what I mean]

And now V is from a ‘different country’ or might as well be.  And so it also applies to V.  In fact, right now, it could apply to many people as far as I am concerned, so crap am I at being able to tell what people want from me and so desperate am I to want to respond in the right way.

I want to scream – ‘help me to understand what you want'; ‘be plain’, etc., etc.


The Tiber; Via Appia; Roman eating


On the banks of the Tiber, as a temporary thing (but every summer), they have bars.  There was a ‘literary’ bar, where, apparently authors come to read some work and take questions from the audience – except that it is a bar and in the open air but, apparently, no talking between patrons is allowed.

We selected a bar that did not have the piped music, the music from the other bars being at the right level for background music.

We ordered our drinks, mine an Americano, as always.  The weir nearby was loud enough so that we had to speak clearly but it was not strained, the noise of the water being a pleasant accompaniment to the conversation and the sound giving one the feeling of ‘cool’ even if it was not.  This was warmer than Milan but not quite as stuffy as Milan can get – maybe the water, maybe the breeze that was more in evidence here.

The waitress appeared with the drinks and we paid.

As she came back with the change, they decided to put on their music and the music emitted from a speaker which, unfortunately, was just behind us and which we had missed.  It meant that conversation was closer to the sort that one has in a disco or club.  Still, it was a very nice place, this island in the Tiber.

After, FfR had booked a restaurant on the edge of the Jewish Quarter in Rome (I didn’t even know they had one, although, thinking about it, of course, they would have it).

The restaurant was Hostaria Giggetto Al Portico D’Ottavia.  The meal was really lovely (the company unbeatable, of course), the main thing that was a specialty, was the deep-fried globe artichoke as an antipasto.  Absolutely delicious.  I also had pasta with cheese and something else that I forget now and a kind of lamb stew.  It had been a toss up between that and the oxtail, which I haven’t had for years.

The whole thing was delicious and not over-expensive at all (€35 per head including wine, coffee, etc.).

The following night with FfR’s sister and brother-in-law, we had some super pizzas at Baffetto2, near the Campo de’ Fiori during which time I found I had so much more in common with FfR’s sister than I could have imagined – apart from the amount we both smoke, that is!

I passed both the Vatican and the Forum as we were driving but that was about as touristy as it got, and for which I was really pleased as I’ve done the tourist thing there every time and it was really nice to not be doing that this time.

Although, we did do a four-hour stint along the Via Appia, lined as it is with the tombs, in nearly 40°C heat and not nearly as much shade as FfR thought, nor the breeze that she had pictured.  We stopped at this café where they were kind enough to come out with bowls for the dogs and a jug of iced water.  It’s one thing I’ve noticed about Italy – stop at any café with dogs when its warm and they invariably offer water for them.

Hopefully I will be able to get back there soon as Rome took on a completely different and very pleasant flavour.

An interesting revelation


[Written 16th August, in Rome – no Internet access]

I guess, after non-stop talking (on my part) for the last two days, that, being gay (and all that that means) has had an enormous and incalculable effect on my life and its course.

For some strange reason, this has only become clear to me now and I remain somewhat shocked by this revelation.

If someone had asked me, even a few hours ago, if being gay had been really important, I would have replied in the negative in that, yes, obviously it was important as to who I chose as my partner but that, in reality, no, since my life includes so much more that the gay ‘thing’.

However, that ‘reality’ I saw was very flawed and the real reality is that, almost without exception, decisions in my life have been made, in some part, solely because I am gay and my attempt to reconcile that to the world I inhabit – which is not the ‘gay world’. I have always seen things, biased towards being both gay and wanting to fit in (or not fit in).

And I am not a strong person, needing ‘someone’ probably much more than they have ever needed me. Now, without anyone, without someone to love and focus on, I am finding it difficult to fit into this world and past decisions (though they remain, I am convinced, the right decisions), may seem foolish now, in light of the real reasons that they were made. All in retrospect, of course.

I remain, as one would expect of any man, emotionally immature and helpless.

I may berate Italian men for their lack of commitment (which I, on finding that ‘someone’, definitely do not suffer from) but at least they are, in some way, honest about it.

Friend from Rome (FfR) has been so kind – listening to my crap and being interested and I have no way to thank her.

And this has been such a lovely few days – Roman without the touristy bits. I am truly blessed by having some great friends.