It is a sunny, breezy, summer afternoon and I am sitting outside at a charming, trendy little coffeeshop in my neighborhood. While my cappuccino is excellent (the guy at the counter even poured the foam correctly) and the atmosphere is easy and comfortable, I begin to feel an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for Rome.
I miss Rome the way I imagine an amputee misses a limb. I can feel it, but it is gone. Vanished into the minutes, hours, days and weeks of a life I will never live again.
Rome will hit me at unexpected moments, triggered by the smallest thing — an infinitesimal ripple caused in my life, and Rome will suddenly come rushing at me. From behind closed eyes I am there. I hear the crowds lilting their language. I smell the fish markets and flower stands. The intense September sun warms my nose and shoulders, and on my tongue I can taste salty, grainy Parmesan and dry red wine and I am crippled. Sinking like a doomed ship, leveled by a wave of longing, sweeping over my heart. Each time it happens, another small part of myself is lost to that place, those days of my past. These pieces break away trailing behind me like breadcrumbs; a path I will never turn and follow back to the place that set fire to my heart and flowed in my veins like a drug.