Last night in Torino. I'm having spaghetti alle vongole at a place recommended by Giuglia, a waiter who served me lunch at another place. “Oh, you came,” she said, and was ecstatic. Spaghetti alle vongole was not on the menu, but Giuglia made sure that I got them. In my eating-out experience, if you care to pay attention to the one waiting on you, you may be surprised. They may let you in on things that they don't necessarily share with others. As it turned out Giuglia is not only a very professional waiter but she also used to pick strawberries on Samsø in Denmark. She needed the money to get herself a certification to teach hatha yoga for children, which she acquired in India at the famous Mysore place for yoga instructors. So Giuglia is many things. I gave her my email and told her that if she ever came back to Denmark she could come and see me, and we would do some yoga together. “Oh, you're so elegant and quiet,” she said. “All Libras are.” I don't know about elegance, but it's true about quietude. I can be quiet.

Thus, while having great food at Chiosco dello Zoo, in quietude, I was thinking about connections. Harold Pinter came to my mind. He was 44 when he met Antonia Fraser, a 42 year-old aristocratic woman, married to an important politician, and with 6 children. He was also married. But what the heck, when lightning strikes, it strikes. He assaulted the poor woman with love poetry, writing that is even embarrassing, and flowers, so many flowers that it's impossible to imagine. She ditched everything, moved in with him, and when both their spouses finally gave them their divorces, they married in 1980. When they first met, however, he told her that he wanted to marry her when he would be 80. “I'll be 78,” she replied. But he didn't care. They married long before that, though, and they lived happily ever after, until Pinter's death. They thus had 33 years of love. As can be read in Fraser's memoir, Must you Go? in all Pinter's love letters to her there's one idea that prevails: the power of connection between them. As he put it: “everything we do, connects the space between death and me, and you.” Antonia's favorite poem is, however, the one titled: It is Here. The last lines read:

What did we hear?
It was the breath we took when we first met.
Listen. It is here.

On the way back to the hotel I was trying to listen to the sounds in the street. On Saturday evenings, the Italians like to drink, order the wrong things—she, the ice cream, he, the tiramisu, then she eats his tiramisu and he eats her ice cream, an ad hoc solution which they both agree on by sealing the pact with a kiss—and inspire. I entered a bookstore that was still open at 10 pm. I picked up the book entitled Le Più Belle Poesie d'Amore, and found myself agreeing with the Austrian poet Erich Fried, that love is what is it, nothing more, nothing less. In love, if “yes” is said, it is not said as a favor, but rather as a manifestation of the acknowledgement that love is what it is. Here, in Italian rendition:


È assurdo
dice la ragione
È quel che è
dice l'amore.

È infelicità
dice il calcolo
Non è altro che dolore
dice la paura
È vano
dice il giudizio
È quel che è
dice l'amore.

È ridicolo
dice l'orgoglio
È avventato
dice la prudenza
È impossibile
dice l'esperienza
È quel che è
dice l'amore.


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