Ruminations on a Tuesday: Talking with Your Hands

Posted on
Jan 31, 2012

A while ago, I wrote a blurb on a scrap sheet of paper. I finally added it to an old picture I had of my grandfather and my cousin.

Forgive me for such a hideous attempt at poetry (if, indeed, that’s what’s going on. It might just be a really awful LOLcat). This sophomoric attempt at prose is the result of the fact that lately, I’ve been feeling homesick for Italy.

Let’s ignore how stupidly privileged and spoiled such a statement sounds, and focus instead on its sheer stupidity: I am feeling homesick for a place in which I have never lived. Absurd, right? But my mother lived there. And my grandparents did. Surely that counts for something.

Because while Italy has never been my home, my home has been full of Italians. I suspect it’s that which I long for more than any particular city or town. I don’t necessarily need to see Rome, but I need to sit at a table full of people screaming and yelling (often in agreement) about nothing at all. I can skip Naples, but please, let someone pile too much pasta on my plate with a dismissive “Oh, you’ll finish it.”

And then let’s linger for three hours over a meal, while we shout and gesture and laugh and slam our hands down on the table.

That’s it, really. It’s not that I long to be home in Italy. It’s just that I long to be in an Italian home. The one from my childhood. The one that was full of people, many of whom are now gone. The one that no longer exists, no matter how hard I look for it. And Italy doesn’t really cure that. Not really.

But it sure as hell couldn’t hurt, right?

Leave a Comment

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • Here it is, folks. The paperback edition of my book is out today. The hardcover came out more than two years ago, so it's wonderful to know that this story of mine still has life and is, gasp, still selling copies. Don't miss the book that Lauren Graham called "the travel companion you'll be happy you brought along" and that some guy on Twitter said was "immature and stupid." It's available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound. #bookstagram #summerreading #bookworms
  • This lady. ❤️❤️❤️ So proud of her.
  • HAPPY LAUNCH DAY!! I really want to curl up in bed with this amazing novel today, but I can't - for an amazing reason. Because I'm going to be at the Lake Forest Park location of Third Place Books tonight, discussing it with the author, my dear friend @andreadunlop. Lady, I'm so proud of you. ❤️ ❤️❤️ #bookstagram #summerreading
  • Baking in an AirBnB is always an adventure. I didn't have a measuring cup for the flour so I eyeballed it, and had to use a wine bottle as a rolling pin to make these handpies. Not my best work, but @demeritt and @randderuiter seemed cool with the results, so I'm going to accept that sometimes good enough is, well, enough. 🥧🍴
  • "I hit the jackpot." That's how I once heard Michael J. Fox describe his marriage years ago, and it stayed with me. I've never found a better way of describing our relationship than that. Bells ring. Lights flash. Coins spill everywhere. Now, where's my complimentary breakfast?
  • Someone sent Rand socks with his face all over them, and he's really bothered by this but I'm gonna rock the hell out of them.
  • I told him to stop looking at the camera.
  • Eating junk food on the ferry with this guy right before dinner is kind of the dream.
  • Does it still count as photobombing when you love it?
  • Some hardcore stuff happening in the studio today. #muglife #ceramics

All Over The Place

Buy my book and I promise I'll never ask you for anything again.

BE AWESOME. BUY IT.