“Sala Another”

1 Feb
The first and only time I saw the Pieta and the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican I felt nothing.  I was more impressed with the money being disbursed to various tourists at the American Express office on Via dei Funari, across from the Piazza Venezia.  The pensione in which we were staying had a coin-operated elevator and two lunch rooms set up to serve at simultaneous times the hungry hordes of immigrants in transit, holed up and waiting for their entry visas at this rooming house.  The director was an emaciated, Lebanese man who orchestrated meal times with the precision of a traffic officer.  When one room was at capacity, he'd stand out in the hallway and yell: "Sala another, sala another" frantically pointing to the second lunch room and re-routing the queue of hungry men (we were mostly men in that place).  He wore white gloves, for some reason.  I don't remember what they fed us day in and day out, but it was good.  Everything was good.  Even the head cheese slices that they sometimes doled out onto your plate, slapping them down with a hunk of mustard and horseradish on top.  They were cold and gelatinous and heavenly in the January sun.  We waited and we walked.  My father pushed me all across the city and sometimes onto city buses which cost 100 lira.  Once, he bought me a tall gelato for 1,000 lira.  And we waited. And we walked.  We ate fresh bread on the steps of the Basilica di San Clemente and watched a man urinate a few feet from us.  Afterward he spied us looking and gave us the peace sign. This was democracy: pissing on your history, on your religious icons.  The first and only time I saw the Palatino and The Church of St. Lawrence I felt nothing.  There were stray cats in The Colosseum and I laughed and imagined they were distant cousins of the lions brought there long ago to eat the Christians.  It was windy and warm inside the arena, and once I thought I smelled fresh blood. 

Posted via email from Post-(S)wine-Osterous

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2 Responses to ““Sala Another””

  1. Matt DeBenedictis 01/02/2010 at 2:19 PM #

    Slice and dice. I likes.

  2. (S)wine 01/02/2010 at 3:29 PM #

    throw the Christians to the stray kitties

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