to the ones I have, but I need a new group of friends with whom to converse daily. Ones who don't have Christmas vacation plans to visit far destinations -- Costa Rica, Santa Fe, Fiji, Bora Bora, Sedona -- I hate to admit it, but my brown eyes are turning green. Call me if you're staying home, in your too small house with way too much crap, whiling away the days while The Husband administers to The Mistress (and if you're a troll of the political persuasion, yeah, yeah, I know I'm blessed in so many ways so don't get your panties in a wad at how petulant I sound).
I guess it's time to haul out the Billy Collins:
How agreeable it is not to be touring Italy this summer,
wandering her cities and ascending her torrid hill towns.
How much better to cruise these local, familiar streets,
fully grasping the meaning of every road sign and billboard
and all the sudden hand gestures of my compatriots.
There are no abbeys here, no crumbling frescoes or famous
domes and there is no need to memorize a succession
of kings or tour the dripping corners of a dungeon.
No need to stand around a sarcophagus, see Napoleon's
little bed on Elba, or view the bones of a saint under glass.
How much better to command the simple precinct of home
than be dwarfed by pillar, arch, and basilica.
Why hide my head in phrase books and wrinkled maps?
Why feed scenery into a hungry, one-eyed camera
eager to eat the world one monument at a time?
Instead of slouching in a cafe, ignorant of the word for ice,
I will head down to the coffee shop and the waitress
known as Dot. I will slide into the flow of the morning
paper, all language barriers down,
rivers of idiom running freely, eggs over easy on the way.
And after breakfast, I will not have to find someone
willing to photograph me with my arm around the owner.
I will not puzzle over the bill or record in a journal
what I had to eat and how the sun came in the window.
It is enough to climb back into the car
as it it were the great car of English itself
and sounding my loud vernacular horn, speed off
down a road that will never lead to Rome, not even Bologna.