Journey Into The Renaissance, Part III

Yet another attempt at travel writing…

I find that visiting Florence is as close to time travel as I will ever experience in this lifetime. However, there is a paradox of time periods overlapping at once. I do not only envision a past when I gaze out at the city through my bedroom window, but a present and a future as well. How do you look at Michelangelo’s David, setting the example for a perfect male figure in 1504, and say he is not still the textbook image of male physique? I remember the hype surrounding my visit to see the David. “You must see him! You’ll cry when you see him!” This was all I’d been hearing since I announced my acceptance to Lorenzo de Medici a semester and a half ago. It’s true that my expectations were high. Especially since sculpture is by far my favorite medium and I do have quite a taste for tall naked men. Continue reading

Landing In Firenze

I kept waiting for it to hit me during my last couple weeks in the states. I packed, but I didn’t feel it. I boarded the plane, but I didn’t feel it. I’m here, and I’m still not sure I feel it. Continue reading

Sweltering Christmas

Frozen hearts could thaw

By your sweltering embrace.

The crisp winter breeze

Never kissed your finger tips.

And the whitest snow

Broiling beneath your boots.

I never knew a Christmas

So devoid of the bitter

Cold I once suffered

Before you.

Milk and Cookie

I think you and I are as different

As a warm cookie and a cool glass of milk.

There is nothing similar about either of us,

We come from different ends of the kitchen.

You rest in the pantry and I chill in the fridge,

You are a solid and I am a liquid,

You crumble and I spoil.

We couldn’t survive together.

But above all of our differences,

And despite our ability to coexist,

We are an exceptional duo.

And one hell of a midnight snack.

An American Dream

Athens, 1939

I was drinking my morning coffee on the terrace, same as I do every morning, with the roar of car horns and ambulances sweeping through the streets below my feet. The buzz of this city pairs nicely with my mood: anxious, restless, and excited. Athens never skips a beat, not even then in 1939 when war is beating down Greece’s door. I lift the welcome mat behind my chair, the place I stash my father’s finest cigars, and light one up before the big journey. Inhaling the smoke from that flavorful montecristo, I remember thinking about giving them back to him before I take off, but then he’d realize I took them, and saying goodbye would have been much more burdensome.

I toss the ashes out from the tray over the railing and make my way back inside, the cigar tucked neatly inside my pocket. Mother is packing away everything I don’t need, the routine of her hands and feet masking the worry on her face.

“Ma.” I wait for her to stop folding my socks, socks I probably won’t need. “Ma, please stop. It’s almost seven, I have to get going.”

She doesn’t stop. Instead, she continues to fold my shirts, my pants, my underwear, and all other items that will most likely be thrown over board if I am caught. I rest a hand on her shoulder, humming her favorite old folk tune. She relaxes and I can almost see a smile tugging on her cheek. “The boat will be cold at night,” She finally looks up at me, “At least let me pack you a few extra pairs of socks.”

“Nicholas,” My father enters the room. His hair gelled tightly behind his ears and gut tucked firmly beneath his belt. He places today’s paper on the counter and picks up his coffee with both palms. I assume it’s so that he has an excuse not to hug me goodbye. “All packed I presume?

“Yes, Papa.”

“Got your bags?”

“Yes.”

“Crew pass?”

“Yes.”

“Are you sure that thing will work?” He eyes my white pants and jacket with the navy blue trim, then studies the identification pass strung around my neck.

Continue reading

Twenty-One Changes

You turned twenty-one

You drink now, but not excessively

You party more than you use to

You work harder than before

You have new friends

You have more freedom

You feel invincible

You say you’re more mature

You changed your way of thinking

Continue reading