More content inspired by my trip to Italy:
Postcards to Mother
While lazing about the Italian countryside, I thought constantly of mother and how much she would have liked everything I was doing, so I took to writing little fake postcards to her in order to bridge the miles between us. Of course, they never got sent and oftentimes do not describe “reality,” but it’s the blog that counts.
Tonight we ate ham, so that was good. I’m staying at a stranger’s house. Hope she doesn’t kill us. It feels so empty here, so sometimes I close my eyes and cross the street. It’s very peaceful. Miss you.
I walked around in Rome with my backpack on today. Do salt stains bleach shirts? Everyone here seems to know I’m not Italian even though you said I looked European. Were you lying to me?
Saw a dumb fountain but was distracted by the writhing mass of human flesh worshiping it. You wouldn’t have liked it very much. The weather was hot and it didn’t look like a mountain.
My vest doesn’t have enough pockets in it to hold all of my allergy medication. Please send me a new one? And Major Milk Makin’ Lactation Cookies?
Our couchsurfing host was very nice. She didn’t kill us and even gave us a key to her place. I wish the guy I am traveling with were you. Please send cookies.
San Benedetto Del Tronto
I’m at the beach. The only way to not fit in here is to be pale. I felt like I was in middle school again except for I was wearing pale skin and adventure sandals instead of purple every day of the week. You always appreciated my fashion and pastiness.
Saw a field full of dead sunflowers today and thought of you.
Our friend’s parents don’t speak much English and they remind me of you when you speak Spanish. They make up for it in kindness though, just like you, except that you usually have lactation cookies. Please send some.
There are a lot of tattooed and other “weird” people in Italy. You’ll have to ignore them if you come. I saw old men in speedos today and it was more jarring than watching a Lady Gaga performance. You might just avoid the beach altogether.
People here eat Italian food every day. I miss your meatloaves.
I bought an earring, a tank top, and some hair gel for Dad so he can look more Italian. I got you and the sisters matching snakeskin string bikinis. Brother already looks Euro enough. Hope you like everything. It all cost 50 Euro. Pay me when I get back.
My host’s dad was making penis jokes at dinner about the phallic bread we had. You would have disapproved just like his mother. Wish you were here to scold.
Traveling companion has fallen ill. I’m feeling weak too. Both very hungry. Please send lactation cookies/medicine.
Mom, I dangled over the side of a cliff today, my feet barely scraping the side of a very deep ravine. I didn’t even want to do it but no one would tell me no. Wish you were here.
Do you remember the check Grandma sent me for my birthday? Could you put the money in my account? Italy is great.
Despite your reassurances that “everyone will know what I’m talking about” no one knows this kind of cheese you want. Are you sure it’s Italian?
Italy is wonderful. I’m not coming back to the states. I didn’t think I hated my family enough to stay abroad forever but it’s just that beautiful. I know you’ll understand. Email me with questions.
Back in Egypt. Food turns to ash in my mouth. I’m hallucinating that I can hear crickets and didn’t even have the energy to kill the cockroach that was preening itself on the wall for an hour. Please send money and cookies. Sorry I said that I’d never be coming back to the states. What I meant was I am never coming back to Oklahoma.