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So, I’ve started smoking again. You can’t live in Italy and not have the occasional cigarette, unless you choose to never open your mouth. Just today, as I was walking past a friendly face and opened up a hello, the man next to me exhaled and with a perfect flick of his head sent the smoke directly into my waiting smile and I actually blew out with him. Even when I try to play soccer on the streets, dogging everyone with a flame, they wait in doorways, huddled together under a cloud of doom that I must part and become part.

I must share though that the relief it has offered me, as a parent, has been enormous. I will never have to wonder when and if my daughter will have a first cigarette. That happened at 3.

And coffee. Oh, coffee. I love it. I want to sit in the cup and play in it for while. But it’s so small. No matter how little I sip, no matter how hard I try to not suck, it’s over in 3 tries. It’s why there are no chairs at the bars. Your ass would never hit that seat with liquid still in that cup. So, I order many cups and this is why I no longer sleep.

And the lovers. On every corner. These young Italians with hormones exploding all over the street. Hands and fingers and tongues and looks of longing that if I stare hard enough start to pull me in and I do worry about collisions. Must I be reminded every day that I didn’t get to be a teenager the Italian way? Yeah, that really sucks.

So, I guess the only thing to do is have another glass of wine, and love every minute of it.


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