“While You Were Sleeping”

Darian Cunning @ Fairfield Theatre Company getting lost in sound. Playing a bunch of tunes off his album -The Lost and Found Channel – Fall 2013

Conad

We drove down the dirt road for miles with the scorching sun overhead. The sound of the rubber rolling through the rough terrain and a large palm overhead. Perfectly clear skies with the overwhelming smell of citrus that filled the air and put wrinkles in my nose. I squeezed it tighter, so forgiving, but not so fresh anymore, it reminded me of home. I sorted the spheres for hours in hopes of finding the perfect match and I had not noticed all the people who came and went buying pre-packaged fruits and bagged vegetables.

My feet were glued, I focused. I had rubbed the texture right off the peel, and the color grew faint, my reflection started to poke through and I was no longer the only one in awe. A tap on my shoulder followed by his roar. Meanwhile, I soaked in the Florida sun with fresh squeezed orange juice from Hale’s Grove, not from concentrate, browsing the aisles, fresh samples of juice, orange flavored ice cream too and I came to appreciate that nasty pulp.

It exploded all over the clerk’s cotton pressed shirt and I opened my eyes, smiled. It was silent for a moment. He smiled back at me; an american? Had he known? I walked out of the store without saying a word and the citrus dripped from my hand to the sidewalk. I don’t remember how long it took to convince myself. The neighbor, a twig-like woman complained of the tacky floors and the peel I left by the door. I simply smiled, but she would never know why it was still crushed in my fist.

One Thousand and One

[This piece was selected to be posted in FUA’s bi-annual travel magazine, Blending! I am very excited to share this with you all. Please enjoy, comment and SHARE! See more about the magazine at http://issuu.com/fuaflorence]

An Accordion plays outside a Trattoria down a side street unknown. Im in love with the sound of Florence.
An Accordion plays outside a Trattoria down a side street unknown. Im in love with the sound of Florence.

What am I doing here? A Place I have seen a thousand times, so I applied.

The Duomo printed in a travel guide. The Ponte Vecchio sat firm on my grandmother’s wall. The stack of maps given to us at orientation cluttered my desk – every shop or bar the city had to offer. But now I don’t have any of that! I thought how lovely Florence would be, I got in the car, a layover in Paris, I had been here for two weeks already. It all happened so fast. A brisk walk to class multiplied, 45 minutes by foot, or more. I looked for those landmarks, but passed the same streets with great repetition, again and again. I wanted to discover, now at a loss of breath. Embarrassed, I sat quietly and the lesson resumed.

I left the next morning with nothing but time. My camera hung my by side, its eye saw the finest detail in all things. I became distracted by an italian couple, but their conversation was too fast to understand. I suspected to find wine shops on every corner and I did – this did not help. I roamed for hours hoping to find my way home.

Speeding Vespa’s, narrow streets and bicycles piled one on top of another. I turned down a main road with slender sidewalks. An italian approached me, I didn’t think there was room to pass – he did. My nose followed the smell fresh pastries for quite some time. My feet ached form the uneven stone, my steps echoed. Vacancy. Owners had gone home to prepare a hearty lunch. Tourist filled plazas, staring aimlessly. I kept walking and passed by a musician, my change rattled across his case. No maps. No guides. I wanted to get lost a thousand more times.