from the notebook

there is a sense of circularity here. 

first, venice is the birthplace of the bellini, hemingway its maker – an ode to the paris that was. 
second, the first time i ever visited italy, it was four blissful hours spent in venice

its fitting we’re ending this trip in venice, dio says. 
for both of us it’s the first city we ever visited in italy. 

it feels strange to be back. to walk the same streets i did four years ago. whats more, i can’t seem to recognize who i was then with who i am now. i remember posing for a picture with the family, on top of the ponte di rialto, uncomfortable and hot among the crowd of tourists. mom then set the image as her screensaver, and whenever i see that face staring up at me from her display, a memory of a person i want to forget i once knew. 

last time we had arrived here by boat, jetting over the topaz ocean from croatia. i remember the captains voice from the speakers: its the only correct way to enter venice. this time i had to choose economy over aesthetics (a choice id had to make often during this trip), so it was in an improper fashion we arrive in train to the santa lucia station. stepping out, immediately greeted by the turquoise dirtgrey water of canal grande, i cant help but wonder if the train-tracks built on water could count as sea-fare. 

dropping of our bags. exploring the city. there is the feeling of my past self haunting me wherever we go. what do we do with the past versions of ourselves we’d rather bury and forget? i feel like im walking around in a daze, following dio and his many church-visits around like a lost puppy in need of direction. 

below the high-ceilinged dome of santa lucia, i see her. another ghost from my past.  the remains of the saint, sleeping like snow white in her tomb of glass. her mummified feet the only thing visible under the red robe. 

she had been an obsession in childhood. middle-school me could not wrap her head around the blood pouring down her white robes like a red scarf, her two empty sockets – a female oedipus. 

i stand before her glass-encased resting place and read the plack to the right. her remnants had first laid in the original santa lucia church that was demolished in 1860 for the construction of the train station, and so removed here. i thought of her uneasy and interrupted sleep, her death on display. 

could i honour the failings of my past selves in so elegant a manner? i felt the need to stuff mementos of their existences deep inside the closet, on a shelf i had to use a chair to get to, forgetting them until the next spring-cleaning. 

so far a glass coffin was out of the question.

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