Sunday, December 11, 2016

# 32 Mark Roberts 'Maree’s Journal Day 1"

Maree’s Journal Day 1

Ambra walked with me from her apartment on Via Famagosta to the Ottaaviano Metro Station. I only had my travel bag to carry as all my work gear had been picked up on Monday and would, I was assured, be waiting for me when I arrived.

We were both a little worse for wear having stayed up late drinking, playing music and remembering. We were both getting too old for this but our shared history demanded a ritual departure. So this morning, rather than washing down vitamins with water Ambra opened another bottle of Prosecco to help us swallow paracetamol tablets. Your hangover will remain long after you’ve flown away she laughed.

So there we were, two middle aged woman, laughing and giggling at 10.30am as we made our way down Via Barletta to the station. We stopped at the top of the stairs. As agreed this was where we were to part, a public farewell. A hard embrace then taking turns kissing each other on the check, still giggling. “It’s been such fun” I said by way of a final departure, “I must come to Rome more often”.

Ambra gave me one last kiss on the left check, “Sorelle!” she whispered and walked away and I made an emotional entrance to the Rome underground.

Fortunately this was one of the few occasions that the train was not crowded and I was able to find a seat and take a few deep breaths. I always felt I was travelling through history on the Rome underground, outside the carriage there was the darkness of the tunnel then the fragments of a history we pretended to understand.

For the last time this visit I waited for the sudden burst of light as the train emerged from the tunnel to cross the Tiber. My head, as always snapping backwards and forwards to look up and down the river.


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