The evening is warm, almost too warm to be comfortable. A bead of sweat teasingly pauses on my forehead as my fingers dance on the keyboard. Despite having the windows open, not a breeze is available to quench my thirst for coolness.
I look over at my slowly emptying glass of Chianti, and catch a glistening reflection in the curvature of the goblet. It is me, and it is hot, but more than that, it is humid. Tempted as I am to go down to the car and enjoy some air-conditioned relief, I decide to remain here, perched on my chair and looking at property that I one day might be able to enjoy myself.
The tropical temperature has brought back memories. Memories of sitting on a Sorrentine balcony enjoying the sunrise. Memories of relaxing in the company of good wine, good food, and most importantly, good people. Sitting by a lake listening to other families toast one another in celebration. My Italian isnt perfect, but I know they weren’t celebrating personal victories. They were celebrating one another for just being there, sharing the delights of one another and enjoying the pleasure of conversation. And of course, a glass was raised to praise the weather.
Even the dog has collapsed on the burning concrete, trying his best to keep in the shade. Occasionally, a small offering from the plate of a child drops to his paws. The dog remains deadly still. You know its hot when the family labourer doesn’t even have the energy to move. The restaurants cat, on the other hand, is a little more adept at this whole balmy weather scenario and never misses a trick. Once the courage is plucked up, the mighty mog dives in and collects his booty – no Tuscan cat can ever resist the temptation of delicious seafood.
Never have I experienced the warmth and atmosphere of an evening like I have in Italy. But today came close, as the sun set over the hazy horizon and the sky turned a subtle, but vibrant, blue. The only thing missing is the company of the fine wine, the fine food, and of course, the fine company. If I close my eyes however, I can taste the still and warm air. My face wrinkles up with laughter as I remember evenings spent in the wonderful settings of beautiful places with beautiful people. It wont be long until I return, but for now, this evening at least, I say buona notte Italia, mi manchi.