Well, I can see now that there is no escaping sleepless nights in one’s haste to get tons of work done at the last minute. The end of the semester is the same everywhere, I say I’ve not had a full night since the weekend, but you’d better bet I’m cranking out projects like a one-woman art machine! The good thing, though, is that in all of these long stretches of time to do nothing but be productive, my ears have been working, too. Remember that I mentioned a list of books to conquer? Well, in these past couple of days, I’ve finished James Joyce’s Dubliners, Machiavelli’s The Prince (which was surprisingly informative, but I’ll probably have to re-read when I can see the words on the page and therefore mull over it more), and started on Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and George Orwell’s 1984. These last two are really good, so far. I did start Dickens’ Bleak House, but it was so…bleak, that here again, I’ll have to read the hard copy for it to keep my attention.
I did actually read the most adorable kid’s book the other day, though! It was a feature on the library website called Where the Bad Kids Go: The Children of Heck or something. The author’s last name was Basye, I think. It was the cutest thing: this goodie-two-shoes boy and his bad older sister die in an exploding-giant-marshmallow-bear accident, and end up in Purgatory for kids, where their teachers include Richard Nixon (Watergate), Lizzie Borden (…you know), and Typhoid Mary. It was so perfectly childish They spent the whole book trying to escape, and I couldn’t stop laughing, despite the tragic truth that they were in purgatory with a three headed dog (Cerberus) squelching their every attempt at freedom.
Meanwhile back at the ranch I’m hoping to go to Bologna this weekend if the trip is feasible, but if not, I’ll skip it. I still have to go to Venice and Rome. It’s the strangest thing, that our time here seems to be slipping away like water through a strainer, but simultaneously, the days until we return to Cincy don’t seem to be getting here fast enough. The last time I looked at my watch, it was April 3rd, and somehow it skipped to the 6th without my noticing! I’m pretty excited about going back, but I’m also eager to be here. My Italian is…at survival level, I’ve managed to learn the secret of traffic (walk as though cars should stop for you despite jay-walking violations, and they will), and I’ve taken to walking around the river at night, sometimes, when it’s calm. There’s stuff to do (aforementioned Venice/Rome), but at the same time, I’m anxious to get back to where I am part of the culture as opposed to an observer of the culture. Both are good, in their own way.
So somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m counting down the days until the 24th, when I’ll be warm and snuggled in my own bed in my own apt in Cincinnati, but in the forefront, there is a little voice which grows louder each day and says “You’re running out of time, you know.”