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?