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Counting letters in Rome

May 27, 2012

I am counting the letters of each word as I am typing this on my smartphone, letter by painful letter. This seems appropriate to me. I am in Rome where I speak caveman Italian — I want eat. Where is hotel. Coffee now — and now I have to type caveman English. Or I am tempted to type caveman English. I will try to be expansive, but let me just note that expansive has 9 letters. Anyways, I have toured the Shelley sites I came to see. And I have dragged my son on three tours — the Vatican, the Villa Borghese, and the Forum and Colliseum. On the Forum tour I wandered away from the group and suddenly could not see anyone I knew. The crowd was thick. I looked and I looked. I could still hear the tour guide through my earplugs, as I was wearing one of those little boxes they hang around your neck, but still I was lost. I remembered being a little girl and being lost on the beach in Rockport. All those strangers. All those unfamiliar voices. All those unconcerned people snug and secure in their own family units. And me, alone and wandering. Which, I have to say, is how I feel a lot anyways, so this was not exactly an unfamiliar feeling. But then I spotted my son, who is not all that easy to spot even for his mother. He is fourteen and has perfected the art of wearing clothing that renders him fairly invisible (9 letters), gray t shirts, beige shorts. If we were at war, he would be useful as a camouflage expert.

Tomorrow, we leave for Lerici. I want to see the last house the Shelleys lived in before he drowned.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2012 4:39 pm


    I’m so very glad you found your way back to the group, but we wouldn’t have moved on without you! It was wonderful to meet you and your son and the tour was so much more enjoyable with you both there. And I honestly don’t think you could ever be truly alone as long as anyone was around as you excel at making connections with total strangers!

    Craig and I are eager to read your books. And best of luck with the two Marys.


  2. May 27, 2012 4:41 pm


    Stupid smartphones! That comment posted as I was trying to sign off, so I’ll try this again. Ciao!

  3. May 27, 2012 4:42 pm

    Never mind…


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