THE LOVE THAT CALLS FORTH – TWO

THE LOVE THAT CALLS FORTH ::: ::: ::: L’AMORE CHE RICHIAMA

PART TWO

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Before I met Massimo, Italy, as a destination, had never even crossed my mind. ::: ::: :::  Prima di conoscere Massimo, L’Italia, come una destinazione, non era mai passata per la mia mente.

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Despite my Long Island, New York childhood being marinated in “Italian-ness”,  especially at school lunch and the dinner table, each piece was scattered like a puzzle I’d never even considered trying to assemble. ::: ::: :::  Nonostante la mia infanzia in Long Island, New York, essendo marinata “nell“Italianità”, particolarmente al pranzo di scuola o la sera a cena, ogni pezzo era sparpagliato come un puzzle che non avevo mai considerato d’assemblare.

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louie sarimamma nikki chris sari

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I had a Lamborghini poster on my bedroom wall. ::: ::: ::: Avevo un poster di una Lamborghini sul muro della mia camera da letto.

For years, I visited palacial Italian villas through the Architectural Digest subscription gifted by my Grandpa Fred; a bronze star naval Ens. who dreamed of traveling to Venice his entire life, but after the war only traveled by train or car. ::: ::: ::: Per anni, visitavo enormi ville Italiane attraverso l’abbonamento di Architectural Digest regalato dal Nonno Fred; un marinaio stella di bronzo, chi sognava di andare a Venezia per tutta la vita, ma dopo la guerra viaggiava solo in treno o auto.

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And for some strange reason Grandma Maggie always called me, “Nicola Piccola”. ::: ::: ::: E per una ragione che non mai capirò, la Nonna Maggie, mi chiamava sempre, “Nicola Piccola”.

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“Oh!!! Look!!! A Ferrari!” ::: ::: ::: “Dai!!! Guarda!!! Una Ferrari!”

I found Ferrero Rocher balls in my Christmas stocking. And saved up loose change to buy Marinos Italian watermelon flavored Ices’s (which were actually created by a Greek!), and Sbarro’s pizza at the mall. ::: ::: ::: Trovavo palline di Ferrero Rocher nella calza di Natale. Risparmiavo spiccioli per comprare granite gusto al cocomero Marino’s (che adirittura erano fatte da un Greco!) e la pizza di Sbarro’s al centro commericale.

“Hey!!! Check it out!!! A Maserati!” ::: ::: ::: “Oh!!! Guarda!!! Una Maserati!”

Across the street from our farm house, there was the large Italian family of yelling brothers, with their gorgeous, shiny, black curly hair, ever fixing their cars in the driveway.  ::: ::: ::: Di fronte la casa di campagna nostra c’era una grande famiglia Italiana con fratelli urlanti, che passavano la maggioranza del tempo a mettere a posto le loro macchine nel vialletto, con le loro magnifiche e lucide ciocche di ricci neri.

My best friend and her generous family with whom I lived for a short period of time. Her father an expert on Italian American achievement trivia. Her mother the empitome of an Italian mother’s grace and expectation. ::: ::: ::: La mia migliore amica e la sua generosa famiglia con cui vivevo per un piccolo periodo. Suo Babbo, esperto sulle questioni delle conquiste Italo-Americane. La sua Mamma un modello di grazia e esigenza tipico d’una mamma Italiana.

Sister Sledge introduced me to “…the finest clothes, the best designers…Halston, Gucci, – Fiorucci. …Oh What, Wow! – He’s the greatest dancer,…”  ::: ::: ::: I Sister Sledge mi introducevano a “…i capi più fini, gli stilisti migliori… Halston, Gucci, – Fiorucci. Oh, Cosa, Wow! – Lui è il più grande ballerino,…”

“A bottle of red, a bottle of white,…”Billy Joel’s Scenes from an Italian Restaurant introduced me to divorce. And the Godfather, to the mafia. ::: ::: ::: “Una bottiglia di rosso, una bottiglia di bianco,…” , Scene di un Ristorante Italiano di Billy Joel, mi ha introdotto al divorzio.  E il Padrino alla Mafia.

I’d heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and at some point had studied something about Leonardo da Vinci and the Roman Empire. ::: ::: :::  Avevo sentito della Torre di Pisa ed a un certo punto studiato qualcosa su di Leonardo da Vinci e L’Imperio Romano.

But the “Italianism” I remember the most was, “When in Rome do as the Romans do, but don’t become a Roman.” ::: ::: ::: Ma “l’Italianismo” che io ricordo di più, era è il detto, “Quando sei a Roma, fai come i Romani ma non diventare un Romano.”

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Connecting all these odd dots, it’s not surprising they’d never manifested into a desire for an Italian vacation. This was a concept that left Massimo visibly shocked and disappointed. ::: ::: ::: Unendo tutti questi strani puntini, non è sorprendente che non avevano mai manifestate in un deisiderio d’andare in vacanza in Italia. Questo era un concetto che lasciavo Massimo visbilmente stupito e deluso.

Since I’d already spastically spilt red wine all down the front of his crisp white shirt, at which point, we’d both exploded into genuine laughter, I didn’t think I had anything to lose by telling him the real reason Italy had never been on my radar. ::: ::: ::: Essendo che avevo gia “spasticamente” versato vino rosso su tutta la sua camicia bianca stiratissima, e a quel punto siamo esplosi in risate genuine, non mi sembrava di avere niente da peredere nel dire la vera ragione per cui L’Italia non era mai stata su il mio radar.

“I don’t dislike the country. My gut just tells me that as an Afro-Americana, the country probably wouldn’t like me.“ ::: ::: ::: “Non mi dispiace il paese. Semplicimente la mia pancia mi dice che come African-American, io non gli piaccio.”

“Kind of like the Grand Canyon,” I’d said, “It’s not like there’s some big sign saying ‘Black folks not allowed.’ But I just don’t imagine I’d feel very welcome.” ::: ::: ::: “Un po come il Gran Canyon,“ ho detto, “Non è che cè un cartello grande che dice, ‘I Neri non sono permessi.’ Ma semplicimente, immagino che non sarei stata la benvenuta.”

I watched my words ricochet across his surprised face, jumping from “That’s not true!” to, “I guess it could be.”, to “Well, maybe it is.” ::: ::: ::: Guardavo le miei parole rimbalzare attraverso il suo viso sorpreso che prima mi diceva, “Non è vero!”, “Forse.”, a “Beh, magari lo è.”

 Then, from his mouth, came out these words: “If you ever decide to come, I’ll take care of you, and show you just how beautiful my paese really is”. ::: ::: ::: Poi dalla sua bocca sono uscite queste parole: “Beh, se mai decidi di venire, mi prenderò io cura di te, ed ti dimostrarò quanta bello è il mio country.”

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Nine months later, we married in northern Italy, and lived in a 2nd floor apartment in Imola, the small country town of his birth. ::: ::: ::: Nove mesi dop, ci siamo sposati in nord Italia, e vivevamo al secondo piano di un apartamento in Imola, il suo paese natale di campagna.

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Nearly every day, we fought. ::: ::: :::  Quasi tutti giorni litigavamo.

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I yelled and then cried. Or cried and then yelled.  ::: ::: :::  Io urlavo e poi piangevo. O piangevo e poi urlavo.

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 And never felt more in love, and more alone, in my entire life. ::: ::: ::: Io non mi ero mai sentita cosi innamorata, e nello stesso tempo, cosi sola, in tutta la mia vita.

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<<< The Love That Calls Forth – Part ONE        The Love That Calls Forth – Part THREE >>>

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3 thoughts on “THE LOVE THAT CALLS FORTH – TWO

  1. When people visit me from out of state they invariably marvel at our Northern California landscape – from the beautiful redwoods, to our snowy alpine forest that sends the best water in the world to us through its watershed. I remind people that we have such a variety of beauty to behold because of earthquakes.

    Our region has been shaped by the forces of plate tectonics. This process causes plates of the Earth’s crust to collide, resulting in uplifting of the land, great earthquakes and major geologic instability (Carver and Burke, 1987; Hardin, 1997)

    So when you mentioned your crying and fighting in the beginning, I actually got excited about the beauty in the narrative to come after – your earthquake.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes. So Beautiful, Rue. That is the truth behind all things beautiful. Struggle. Courage. Investment. Faith. And the Beauty and Diversity of the U.S. is so unknown and unimagined… My Earthquake. It only just began. More to come. Thank you for such a thoughtful response. I deeply appreciate it and you.

      Liked by 2 people

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