One of the good things about being in a big city like Rome is that if you go out for a drink anywhere, you can easily happen to sit next to people you’ve seen before. Like actors, for instance. Today, after doing the major sites in the Eternal City in hot sun, after having done my wishing to be eternally loved by throwing coins into Fontana Trevi, I decided to get a beer at one of the local joints near the Spanish steps. As I was leafing through my Italian copy of Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics, which I had just mentioned in my previous post, and which I had just bought, I noticed a man and his son at the opposite table. I thought, gosh, either this guy is Tim Roth or he really looks like him. As Tim Roth is one of my absolute top favourite actors and his work in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is absolutely beyond top class, there was only one way of finding out whether I was sitting next to a very intelligent actor, or a fake. I took my book, and went up to him with these words: “Tim Roth, if I ask you to give me an autograph, are you going to curse me?” He signed ever so courteously. Don’t ask me why I thought - after I had left the two, who, as I passed them in my big hat, were smiling grand style at me, yet also mysteriously - that if anyone should have signed that book, then it would have to be Roth. Cosmic things indeed, and a sense of falling. Come dice Calvino: “Cadere nel vuoto come cadevo io, nessuno di voi sa cosa vuol dire.” (La Forma dello Spazio)


lektor said…
I am green-magenta of envy.

At least I meet Anita Ekberg every night, you know.
Robert Gibbons said…
Dear Camelia,

Please translate the last sentence for the poor, essentially monolingual American!! S'il vous plaît?


Camelia said…
Robert, no, I'm not back, but here's a translation: "Falling into the void as I did, none of you can know the significance of it."

These days I find myself translating, especially food and other practical things, for the good people at the Lit. and Psychology conference, who came all the way from the US of A, and it amuses me that both them and the Italians think I'm fluent in this language, which, of course, I'm not. But it's true, I'm good at pretending. You would be amazed how far you can go with four phrases when the cab drivers drive you nuts: I go: "ma come?" and then 5 minutes pass with some of their own discourse on whatever. Then I go: "è brutto." They concur. Then a suprising shift in topic occurs with their asking suddenly a question of this type: "so, how have you found shopping in Rome?" to which I say, "fascinating, but molto caro," and they conclude: "porca miseria." Then , it's my turn to concur with the interjection, "beh," while also getting off with a cordial, jovial, sentimental, and at times on the verge of kissing, CIAO.
Robert Gibbons said…
Well, as I say, you're ready for stand-up, my shoulders bouncing with laughter, but also, of course, the obvious interjection, that practicing your stand-up routine on any sidewalk in Rome, while signaling a cab at the same Time, brakes screech, ancient battles begin, & sounds above the fray say, "Where may I take you, Signora? -rg

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