Jump to content, Jump to navigation.

Amber Paulen

Not Cold

My intention was to write about the humbling experience of the first cold. When the windows are shut and a cool wind blows, after a breezy and open summer, it is difficult to not feel in symbolic emotions. The commencement of cold is not death, but it is a reminder of death all the same. We bundle up and prepare ourselves for the darkening of the months to come.

We see in the pattern of the year the inescapable limits of our lives. Because the seasons really do require a sensible response from us, the pattern they impose means more than just a change in the weather. —E.C. Krupp, Beyond the Blue Horizon

But today I cannot write about cold because today is warm and the windows are open to a balmy thick air. The woman at the alimentari says it’s Ottobre Romane, and everywhere else but Rome is cold.

Last night we took the fast train south from Verona. The evening passed in lights and reflections; the smooth rhythm of the train coalesced almost invisibly below me. One can’t help but feel European on such a train ride, as if the whole experience of easy and stressless travel is only reserved for this continent. The other passengers were sleepily content, and impeccable.

Verona was also impeccable. The difference between Verona and Rome is the difference between north and south. Here there is chaos and shouts, the voluptuousness of a Roman dinner. There it is refined: the wine glasses are elegant wine glasses, the citizens ride bicycles, they are respectful and like Rafael says, some of the women pee Chanel No. 5. The rawness is filed down; the north is almost another Italy.

Almost. There is much in Italy that is universal. We lounged in Piazza Brá sipping orange spritzes as the parade of people marched by. The pace of life is unhurried, for looking good and stopping off for a drink or to eat, are always higher priorities. I also ate some tasty tortellini.

If I lived in Verona I might be able to complain about the cold. And if I hadn’t gone to Verona this past weekend I probably would have. No matter, let the cold bear down its unforgiving fist! I suppose, I’ll be ready for it.


·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·