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Thread: The Mask Slipped.

  1. #1
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    The Mask Slipped.

    Wednesday night was rough when he awoke. He could not put his finger on it exactly, just deep unease. He pulled the sheets, damp from sustained sweating tighter around his upper torso. Minutes later and rolling over to the other side of the bed, the crisp freshness of linen unslept in, gave a temperory reprise. The window overlooking the rear yard of the hotel was open and a Rome predawn awakening was as yet some hours off.

    Outside in the Via Guilia one of the less fortunate bedded down on the cold uncompromising steps of the adjacent Santa Maria del Suffragio.

    The Christ was inside behind heavy metal studded doors, whilst humanity lay by the front door. A feline passed on its regular nocturnal hunt, giving but a cursory glance, through unfeeling eyes at mortal existence.

    Inside and located on the first floor of the Indigo Hotel, the occupant was still uneasy. Words inside his head became sentences, then were adapted. All the strings of the last few days were being remorselessly drawn into thoughts that would not succumb to sleep; the purity of being alone in Rome among crowds, solitary in thought; devotions in church side chapels, unable to communicate coherently to those encountered. The story he so wanted, the journey he so wrestled for was there, suffused like cold travertine frescoes, incapable of articulation.

    Perchance to revive an experience, beyond the barren plateau of the intangible.

    The initial objective had been to offer prayers for three girls he knew with cancer symptoms. If all roads lead to Rome; per se, benediction and cure a possibility?

    But as he had progressed for three days, from church to church sustaining supplications on the behalf of others, he became increasingly aware of his own frailty in this final stage of existence. Transient glimpses of a dehumanised crucified Christ in side alters evoked deep wells of emotion. Then, at the church of St Maria del Popolo, the works of Raphael, Cacaravaggio, Carracci, Pinturicchio & Bernini broke the seal of his self control; and his initial aims, became but minor tributaries of an internal river he had until now been unaware of.

    Light rain besmirched the dust on building facades into tear shaped streaks; whilst dark cobblestones in narrow thoroughfares exuded a reflective shine of the moons' intermittent break through grey dull clouds. Two streets along, from the west of where he lay, the Tiber gently flowed in its centuries old path, to meet its fulfilling and unalterable embrace with the sea.

  2. #2
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Interesting narrative. But I suspect that your lonely protagonist doesnīt speak Italian neither is he used to the latin atmosphere of Rome.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  3. #3
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Hi Danik

    Correct on both counts.

    But I tell you what. Once I got that out of my system, I slept like a baby last night at the very gates of heaven!!

    Best wishes
    M.

  4. #4
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Thatīs fine!

    By the way, Rome should be swarming with Brazilians this weekend, because of the canonization of our first official saint, Sister Dulce.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  5. #5
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Came across a few yesterday. My Lord, they love to party.

    There is of course the more serious side, and congratulations on the first official Brazilian saint. Long overdue, but now with an Argentinian Pope this process is becoming more balanced.

    I'm in the Alitalia Rome Lounge at the moment awaiting my flight. A really enjoyable and interesting week. But where to next? Senior citizens are quite mobile these days!!!

  6. #6
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Thanks, I agree with you!

    LoL! Yes, they do,and they arenīt always as discreet about it as I think the English are. Somewhat noisy drinking and rocket shows go with it.

    Have a nice trip!
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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