orecchiette

You know the days, when you try to walk away from yourself? 
Rome let me do that. 
Rome let me pound the pavement until I was just tired bones encased in tired skin, with only a hungry stomach and nothing more. 

So I ordered orecchiette. 
Orecchiette in broccoli sauce, with flakes of sausage. 
"It's good?" I asked. 
"It's ok." The waiter smiled down at me. 

So I said that's fine, and some kind of white wine please, whatever is the best. 
And the waiter smiled down at me, and brought olive bread that was pretty but dry, and wine that was good, and then pasta that was better. 

The pasta. 


Hot and fresh and simple. 

I melted. 

Lately, my soul has been in need of melting. 

Something about traveling, and constantly moving, is that I'm constantly adjusting and readjusting to fresh places and fresh people. It's fascinating and lovely, but extraordinarily intense, and often a little drunk. These spontaneous and fleeting connections-- some of which last for no more than a few hours, often leave me gasping for air. 
Like a punch of personality to the gut.

I vascillate between vulnerability and abrasiveness: constantly being aware of strangers eyes crawling down my legs, hair, the small of my back, and the fear of being whistled at or followed. 
And then also letting people in-- tell me your story, let me tell you mine, do you want a bite of this? Sharing sharing sharing in the limited time frame that being in a place for only 48 hours allows you to share. 


But every now and then, something undoes me-- and I find myself forgetting about the fear, and forgetting about how much I'm telling, and the protective shell around my heart softens. 

Have you ever had a song that leaves you seeping and weeping everytime you listen to it in the car? Or a person who leaves you joyous and raw? Or an experience that left you empty and whole at the same time? 

This is what the food of Italy does to me-- like it's so good nothing can really be better, which is, really, quite tragic. 

And that orecchiette-- oh lover. 
It undid me. 

And despite all my tired bones and tired skin--

I melted.