17 August 2002


I get these moods where I just have to walk or I'll explode.

Guess this is what comes of expressing myself through movement for so many years. Face to face, when I get in these moods, I'm a stuttering idiot. If perchance, somebody asks me "What's up?", I find myself unable to respond, and actually it's better for all concerned if I head off by myself for a while. Writing doesn't help; I have to move. If I could run without my knees screaming in agony, I'd run all the way to the beach. So instead I walk. And walk. And walk.

Sometimes it's because I'm upset. Sometimes it's that restless itch of sleeping alone. Sometimes it's because I need to make a big decision. And sometimes, who the fuck knows. I've been doing it a lot this week.

I drop my stuff off from work, change into my sneakers if necessary, grab my keys and shut the door behind me. Already my feet are practically running down the steps to my building I hit the buzzer to open the door and it slams shut behind me at the same time as my lungs taking a huge gulp of air. I walk through the neighbourhood, through the train station to the other side where the center of Rome awaits me. I walk down Via Cavour as there's less chance of hitting a huge group of tourists. Via Cavour runs downhill and my feet stop only for traffic lights and sometimes not even that. Cars honk and boys whistle and I keep going, following Via Cavour as it curves into the Roman Forum, the Colosseo on your left, boys and girls. I follow Via Fori Imperiali, passing Trajan's Coloum, entering into Piazza Venezia where Mussolini used to speak to the crowds, the monument to Italy's unification to his left, a song in my head though I'm not sure what or why, but it makes my feet move, my hips swing, my hands nervous. I dart across the Piazza, head towards Largo Argentina with its cats crawling around the area where Cesare was betrayed. Cross the tram tracks, head towards the river, Saint Peter's and Vatican City sliding into view as I cross in the semi darkness, water splitting around Tiber Island and I imagine the rats swimming in its currents someone told me once a man had died of rat piss when he fell in the river and swallowed some water don't know if its true but now I've crossed to the other side to Trastevere. I lived here last year miss it in some ways I can lose myself in the alleys and pop out into piazzas with people loitering and strolling and living their lives. And I duck back into the alleys come back out near the river, walk along the river with her trees and the traffic dazzling my eyes and shifting the shadows, towards Vatican, back into the smaller streets, pop out into the colonnade, the embrace of Vatican I remember my Catholic upbringing, how at one time I believed in a God and things were simpler when I could barely see over the pews and would compare the asses of the people in front of me and wonder why the Asian contingent of our congregation had such flat asses as to make their Levis droop. And I walk to the other side of the colonnade, watching the optical illusion as the pillars slide into perfect alignment with each other, through the shadows, the ever present police idly watching me dart through the shadows up to Piazza Risorgemento cut back towards Via Cola di Renzio and the closed shops with grating making grey x's over the wares shown in the windows hardly any traffic here wide sidewalks easy to dodge the occasional pile of dog crap someone has so courteously left for the public a bit slower now back across the river approaching Piazza del Popolo sitting at the base of the Pincio, lush green fountain offering at hint of Villa Borghese's daytime pleasures down Via del Corso, more shops really must buy some new clothes shoes shot to hell too getting tired now past the Spanish steps wandering up to Piazza Barberini and the triton the crazy man is hardly ever there when I go past wonder where he goes Heading uphill now my strides long but a bit tired a bit winded really should cut back on smoking yeah right around the corner to my favorite fountain in Piazza Repubblica of the nyiads or is it dryiads I can never keep those straight too damn bad this is where all the male prostitutes hang out could be worse, could be the transvestites at least here I won't get car honks back through the front of the station back into my neighbourhood open the metal and glass door to the building, cool underneath my fingers as I try to shut it as quietly as possible open the door to the apartment fucking key always sticks in the lock crappy copy into my room turn on the radio i don't own a TV take off my shoes take out my contacts turn off the light fall asleep in my clothes

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