Forty-nine days from now, right now, at exactly this time, Central European Time, I will be referring to my exhaustion as jet lag. I will be completely moved in to my new apartment, the first place I will ever live without my parents, my spouses, or my children. I will have unpacked my two sundresses, one pair of shorts, a tee shirt, and eight sets of underwear into my dresser. My Italian dresser. I will have stroked my Italian kitchen counter, bounced from my Italian couch, to my Italian chair, and decided which corner will become my Italian writing corner, where I will plug my American laptop into an electricity converter.
I will not have eaten lunch, unless it is served in the air between Frankfurt and Rome. My body will say it is just after 2pm, but my Italian wall clock will say it is a quarter past 8. I won’t grocery shop until the next morning, so I will leave my apartment, walk across the street, through Vatican City, using the whole of the tiny, holy country as my short cut to my favorite trattoria, Perdincibacco for a light dinner of Caprese salad and a bottle of their house red. If I’m lucky, Massimillano’s dog, the adorable chocolate lab puppy that stole my heart last year, will have grown into his host job and greet me as if I never left.
Or maybe he won’t. I don’t yet know the temperament of Italian labs, but American ones tend to greet people with the same excitement, no matter how long they’ve been gone.
I will cork what’s left of my wine and carry it with me. The tunnel on Via di Porta Cavallegri is always dark, but since the sun will be set by then, I won’t have to squint when I pop out the other side. A couple of blocks ahead, I will descend the steep, piss-smelling steps to the Tiber River and in a most American fashion, I will lift my wine in a toast to Summer, 2017, and drink straight from the bottle.
I can’t wait to find out what comes next.