Confession: I love to travel. Above all else, my ass just likes to be somewhere else. Now, I have to be creative because while I travel like a rock star, I earn the salary of an organ grinder monkey.
So, thanks to a hook up, I’m sitting in the restaurant at the InterContinental in Rome in the midst of a bunch of folk who don’t have to be nearly as creative as me.
I can tell because they are smiling while downing several €15 espressos (yeah, that’s $21 in the US. No…not pesos…dollars) and choosing between the Dom P. and Moet as the sommelier walks around their table with a bottle of each in his hands. They don’t have the same pained expression as me. They didn’t ask the waiter, “Now…what now?” when they saw the price. A gentleman one table over just raised his hand at the waiter and said, “We’ll take three lobsters, please…and the menus!”
Sometimes, you gotta get into some shit to know the truth about it. To be in Italy, to have God’s record so closely juxtaposed to man’s opulence, I am finding, without fail, that material trappings truly lose the contest. Rich or poor, we all have the exact same access to this city’s heart. She woos us all equally. Yes, my friends, Rome is a bit of a tramp.
But this new experience is just one more on the ever-growing list of things that reset what I understand about life. Ten years ago, I always had to have the dope shit and be in the middle of shit and know the latest shit and be the hottest shit. Well, all that shit is exhausting and certainly has an expiration date. Slowly but surely, my old bucket list has morphed into my new f$#% it list…and I have a another opportunity to reshape what I value.
So, here’s what I confirmed about myself today in Italy. I am, at heart, a cheap date. Give me a nice breeze, a place to people watch (throw in a good zoo, if you’re tryna get lucky) and, maybe later, a sunset to remind me to return to Spirit and reflect. (Ok, full disclosure – I AM going to be wearing some hot ass shoes while I do all that…)
But today, I am easily walking past the best designer boutiques in the world, some exclusive to Italy even, in order to light a candle in a church, walk a local neighborhood or play with children at a fountain (as long as they don’t touch me…baby steps, y’all) This morning, I meditated in front of the Vatican. I’d rather pound this city by foot, exploring every public sculpture and historical landmark than experience upscale places whose price of entry (sometimes monetary, but more often not) would prohibit my contact with every day Romans. In other words, I’m certainly more interested in talking to the bartender than I am this well-heeled old-as-magma gentleman (using the term loosely here) who keeps staring over here, clearly titillated by the perceived prospect of working out some kinky slave girl fantasy.
Anyway, my point is — who knew I would have to cross an ocean to discover what I’ve carried inside of myself all along? Wait…that doesn’t make sense anymore…it started out as my point but these words took on a life of their own. Oops!
DISCLAIMER: For the record, none of this means my ass is flying coach on my return trip. I was a having a moment of growth, not insanity.