Many things can happen to you in the city of Florence. And, sure, I am wildly aware I have mentioned a place by name. I am boldly reluctant, too. But then, some things do not work if you strip them of their identity. People, as I am learning slowly, cannot be without an identity, too. The whole narrative of my life so far has been that I reject every label life throws at me, and yet, I find there is indeed the label of being without a label, which comes at the cost of acknowledging that everything I reject indeed exists. I can deny and omit the name of the city I come from, but it barely affects the fact that I am almost five thousand kilometres away. To cut it short, if sharing more detail makes me a hypocrite, well, so be it. There are far bigger crimes than simply changing your mind. People far more evil commit them every day.
You can find yourself at a pizzeria in the midday heat and ask a bartender for an espresso still, and he can deny it to you because you did not get any pizza and not because it is hot outside. And you can ask him for a slice instead of a full pizza because you just had lunch, and he can deny you it as well simply because you are in Italy and no one has pizza by the slice. Of course, I reckon you then ask for an espresso martini, which will surprise him and shock him in the way someone is shocked when they suddenly find some bills of cash in their old jeans, and he will tell you, “You better watch out for that one, I can do an espresso martini like none other.” And he will be honest. It will do precisely what you expected, even if you were unsure what you expected. And it will be an afternoon well spent as you read your copy of Rilke. Until the breeze starts to pick up, and the sun begins to hide behind the galleries and the duomos and the towers. There it is, you will think. There is the moment you’ve been waiting for all day, but then, this will indeed be Firenze still, and as I said, it will be impossible to put it all in one piece, especially when one has a habit of wasting words. It will surprise you.
No sun I have walked under has changed me like this one today. This has been, for the lack of better phrasing, a pleasant surprise.