I woke up this morning with a buzzing in my ears. It was constant, like a baby’s cry that won’t quiet down until you are ready to commit to his needs and understand his plead. So here I am, a few hours later, sitting in a square on a sidewalk, writing. The buzzing stopped. The square is pleased. My fingers start dancing on the keyboard.
What to write about I wonder? About the people hanging out and having lunch while laughing and talking? About the mom who screams at her child and smacks him when he disobeys, only to pick him up and kiss every part of his body when he falls down because she hit him too hard? About the couple who are watching me like an alien probably because I sat down on the sidewalk and smiled at the square as if saluting an old friend? Tough choice right?
What is it about this square though? Piazza Santo Spirito, Florence, Italy. Three years ago I would have never come here to write or watch people. This filled with life and busy square, in the heart of the Oltrarno neighborhood in Florence never winked or allured me before. But then I met a man called Mark and a few months later this place became my office for a year. I started knowing the people who always hang out here, the bartenders began to understand and make fun of my weird habit to have cappuccinos at any time of day, and soon enough I allowed a creative bubble to surround me every time I stepped onto the rocky pavement. I wrote dozens of articles here, I laughed and shouted out my deepest fears here, I gave up on myself and pulled myself together again here. This place has seen the best and the worst of me for the past three years and now it became my own personal drug, a guilty pleasure that I sometimes have to treat myself with in order to stay sane for the rest of the week. This square is like the forbidden cookie with that extra crunchy layer of chocolate.
The buzzing in my ears started again. It says I am not honest and deep enough. It says I am making up beautiful metaphors to avoid the ugly truth that circles me. The truth is…the truth is this square witnessed the beginning and in some way it predicts the end of a chapter in my life; a chapter that has been like an intense roller coaster ride that you never want to end. Soon enough this square will be left without one of its more beautiful spirits and will feel empty and stripped out of its meaning. Soon enough this square will only feed my sadness. Soon enough this square, this rocky pavement, that water fountain and the tables from the bar will only remind me that I am left alone.
And now, while my fingers are still dancing with joy and speak to the world, I am smiling back at all the memories I created here, at the man who is leaving this place behind and at the new chapter that awaits to be written. A writer, a square, and reminiscence….