Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tu Vuo’ Fa’ L’Americano

"You're wearing trousers with a tag on the back
and a cap with the visor turned up,
parading around Tuleto
like a lady's man trying to be seen
You're acting all American,
American, American"

Leaving Venice, we board the massive cruise ship ‘Splendor of the Sea’ and set sail into the Adriatic. Spirits are high as we pass beyond the Grand Canal into wide open water. "Listen here: who's asking you to?
You want to be all trendy,
But if you drink "whisky and soda"
You will always end up sick!
You're dancing rock and roll,
And playing baseball,
But where'd you get the money
For the Camel cigarettes?
Mummy's handbag!
You're acting all American,
American, American"

These scenes are like postcards, the sky this brilliant blue. Scores are aboard. The cruise ship itself is a mighty vessel, with multiple decks, dining room, performance stage, and ballroom. I am greeted at the door by the captain and asked tonight if I will take part in the formal dinner, “Oh, you didn’t bring your tuxedo? You can rent one aboard.”
"But you're born in Italy!
Listen here: there's nothing you can do
Okay, Neapolitan?
You're acting all American
You're acting all American!"

I have booked a small sailor's cabin which consists of a miniture bathroom with sink and shower, a mid-sized bed, which I will sleep on with my daughters, a little sofa, and small desk.
"How can your loved one understand
If you're speaking half American?
When you're out loving under the moon,
Where did you get a phrase like "I love you"?
You're acting all American,
American, American"

But by far the most exciting part of the voyage will be spent on the little private balcony adjacent to the room that overhangs the ship. From there I can sit about ten meters off the water, just gazing out as we pass through the sea.
"Listen here: who's asking you to?
You want to be all trendy,
but if you drink "whisky and soda"
You will end up sick!
You're dancing rock and roll,
And playing baseball,
But where'd you get the money
For the Camel cigarettes?
Mummy's handbag!
You're acting all American,
American, American
But you're born in Italy!
Listen here: there's nothing you can do
Okay, Neapolitan?
You're acting all American!"

I have had many voyages and many travels, my feet carry the dust of ancient places. I have crawled over stones and through jungles, amid dense forests and even across certain deserts, glaciers, and mountain fields, but never, in all my life, have I had a seat like this. It is like my own little private viewing of the ocean. I sit back in the chair and rest my head on the passing warm breeze and marvel.

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