And then there was the day I became Dame Maggie Smith

I am here in Roma still. I have walked and walked and stood in front of antiquities and Caravaggios and inside churches covered with shimmering mosaics. I listen to audio tours while staring at crumbling columns and thick stone slabs try to imagine the granduer that existed there before, and before the before. I try to envision that some historical figure stood right where I am standing. Someone who I would have been friends with like Petrarch or Henry James or Cavafy or Nero. Maybe i wouldnt be friends with James...i would have been irritated by his closeted nature. And Nero castrated his boyfriend, so I guess that would make him a little off-putting too.

I have concluded a few things. I feel ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for Christianity. In fact i kind of resent how it insinuated itself over all the pre-existing beauty. Altars and crosses placed around the Parthenon, on top of fortress walls, every statue of tight-ass Constantine.

Also you may want to congratulate me -- i may be the first homo in the HISTORY of HUMAN TIME that doesn't experience one romantic moment in Rome. I am HomaRome. Romealone. Alome...

But maybe it is best right now? Dont get me wrong, i am having a lovely time here, learning so much, feeling attached to some long laborious effort at truth-seeking that has gone on forever and ever (the Philosophers Hall in the Capitoline Museum...i stayed in there for a long time). It seems like every violent war was started by someone jealously in love with someone else's wife or husband. I just don't really have that energy in me anymore. It all seems so short-lived and bloody and misguided. So maybe I am not suited for Rome-ance, because I would rather have someone be mellow and levelheaded and trustworthy...

Around me are a lot of couples making out all the time. My host seems to be in love with his spanish novio. Meanwhile, i am doddering around and reading, watching Italians sing karaoke and talk and gesticulate. I guess I am a crone in a way. A spinster auntie. I am afraid I will go to the bathroom and see Dame Maggie Smith staring back at me.

This is all fine! Maybe tonight I'll meet some apparition from some previous era, walking around with his heavy tablets wondering why everything is so erratic and emotionally shifty...some guy who lived alone in the Forum, who was grossed out by all the stupid loud games at circus maximus and spent his time wandering around the Palatino singing songs to himself.


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