I wake up at 6:15 a.m. thinking about the past, pleasant memories. It strikes me that I feel this itch of writing not in my native language about my grandparents, “our” house in Tuscany, the smell of focaccia and milk for breakfast. The memory is so vivid that, if I close my eyes, I can even picture my grandma’s bicycle. The taste of fried pumpkin blossoms in my mouth, the kitchen and the garden where my grandpa had a nap on a rocking chair. One day we took a picture of him napping. I still have this picture in a drawer I rarely open as I’m afraid of being stuck in the past. This drawer is like the rabbit hole of Alice: if I fall down, I’ll never come back. How can I get out again? There would be no reasons really, as I would find people & places I sincerely miss.
Of course my life was far from being “perfect”, yet I was a lucky little girl with no concerns or bad days. To be candid, I did have troubles with my “amici del mare”, as we say here (my summer friends). They were all older than me and I was often bullied. I used to hang out with people who were 18 or even 20 when I was 12-13 years old. It’s a huge difference. I was the little one and… I was also nice-looking the latter being not necessarily an advantage when you are surrounded by “grown-ups” who do not look nice at all. Definitely not an advantage when the most beautiful guy (he was 25 but I can be wrong. Maybe older?) sort of asked me out. I was bewildered. He just wanted to test how far he could go: “Maybe I can even have sex with a 13 years old?!“. Of course he didn’t achieve his goal, but I was hated by my girlfriends who had a crush on him (who didn’t?).
Actually, I had a crush on the ugliest guy I have ever met. Ok, this is a bit unfair. He was not that ugly but he was not attractive either. And I had my first French kiss while watching Dirty Dancing in a movie theatre. He wore a dental brace so… not funny but exciting. All our friends stared at us as if we were zombies making out in public. And we kissed at on the beach a few days later. It was magical, I can’t really describe it.
Also, can I describe my swimming lessons at sea with Luca?
Or the scent of oleanders filling the air?