Monday, March 22, 2010

the space between

The space between Sunday and getting going Monday was uneventful. A light overnight rain had washed the streets in preparation of another day. No wind and the air seemed spring time fresh. I didn't notice exhaust smell. It just smelled like morning.

The nearby Chiesa Nuova church bells tolled the hour, or maybe the quarter hour or half. The bells toll every fifteen minutes but you have to know the code, then listen and count to get the message. I didn't pay attention. I was at the laundromat doing what I had to. This was my Monday morning job. Time was not a factor. Just doing my job.

It was a low key morning. Quiet for the center of Rome. It was as if whatever had been going on all weekend had finished, and the participants, like the ten thousand runners in the marathon, had packed up and left, leaving Roma to me and a few others. Even buses seemed quiet and fewer this morning. That must have been an illusion, for it was the hour for them to be in a rush. Maybe they’re all jammed a few blocks up the way and will come in a wave.

After starting the laundry I went to the coffee bar I always go to with Bill on laundry day. He had a meeting this morning and couldn’t make it. He's a chef and swings in embassy circles and always has stories to recount, simple things like forty people at a reception and what they ate. That's interesting to me. I'm simple and don't need much to be entertained.

It was nice he called and told me he wouldn't make it so I wouldn’t be looking for him. This coffee bar is one of the old one’s they left alone. Most go for a complete overhaul every five years or so. Going modern. About half of the coffee bars seem to grasp that people come to Rome to see old, not modern. The coffee bar where I stopped knows me. The girl working there knew how I take my coffee and that I always have a cornetto, on of the sweet rolls with it.

This morning I was seeing calm. Coffee and calm. Roma without pretense. Rome quiet and resting. The space between the busier times.

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