God only knows what I was doing there.  There must have been a war going on... In the beginning it was terrifying. The usual thing: screams in the night, wailing, gnashing of teeth... You know, Hell, opposite sweet Canaan, the forbidden, the untouchable. it was too much to think about. But people being what we are, I eventuallly got used to it, and even a little bored.So, within the several square blocks of bombed-out, fragile skeletons of buildings, I began to think of looking for booty... And a pale blue leather jacket I'd found for Fanny, in real life, somehow showed up, and then Fanny did , too. A few friends were there. And some strangers as well. And we all simply sat there, centrally located, discussing this and that, casually, philosophically even. Right there amid the smoldering rubble, these recent reductions of so-called civilization...
                  I recall one part of the conversation. A delicious brunette--  an Italian -- was there, with a friends, as the talk had drifted on to the merits of Italian cities. A happy drift, to be sure. Some had ventured to lavish praise on other towns, but she, teh brunette, was from Florence, and , well, Italians being what they are, her patience waned, and she calmly , but emphatically, said, "All of Italy services Florence!" I was enchanted by her English and found her her even more at-tractive...   I forgot the rest of the conversation, and remember only the way everyone drifted around the pulsing embers, seeking out some privacy to piss...Someone chanced to flush a toilet and water from theperforated pipes gayly splashed bystanders amid laughterand refreshed exclamations... I wandered outside in the backyard where some partially burnt bicycles stood clustered together, hopeful of salvaging a nice seat for my own. It was going to be a fine morning, albeit a bit smoldery. I thought of the brunette again, wanting, myself, to be all of Italy and to service her, sweet Florence.

Ronald F. Sauer © all rights reserved
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