On Fetching Jam from Italy
Monday, October 22nd, 2007 https://adamkhan.net/rambles/curs-to-fate
olace: sitting down and writing gives it me. Yesterday I lost Jam in Villa Borghese, the central park here in Rome. She has not turned up since. I fear that she’s gone, either dead already due to being hit by a vehicle, or suffering hypothermia (the weather turned very cold the last couple of days), or just permanently missing. This just a week after being reunited with her. Oh, the cruelty and Hell as I sit here in this warm silent kitchen.
“Oh man, I love it,” Denny Crane tells Alan Shore in the Boston Legal episode “Word Salad” (7:30). “Being touched and caressed…” They’re luxuriating at a spa because Alan is mixing up his words, speaking gibberish; the neurologist says it’s due to stress, and Denny has taken him away to relax him.
“I’m not the most connected individual, Denny,” replies Alan, in marked contrast. “Sometimes words are all that allow me to feel like I’m a part of the world, a part of life.”
As well as words, my dogs have done the same for me. I’m not the most huggy person, for whatever reason. I tend to withdraw from them, either because I find something repulsive about the person hugging me or because I fear perhaps they find something repulsive about me. But not so my dogs. And as well as hugs, there’s walks. You can get bored and irritated with pretty much anyone when going for a walk with them repeatedly, but with my dogs—providing they don’t crap in bad places or get lost or do other misbehaviours—I never get bored nor irritated when going for a walk with them; it’s always a singular pleasure.
Until this current catastrophe I was planning to leave Rome tonight and head back home to Britain. After the initial pleasure of being here, the old irritants are returning. Yesterday morning I ordered a cappuccino and an americano, but because I didn’t specify one of each, and the barista didn’t see I was with anyone else, she thought I was ordering an americano cappucino, and was just confused and amused at this nonsensical request, nor did she bother very much trying to understand what I did mean. Stalemate. Finally the boss stepped in and I specified “un cappucino, un americano” and all was clear.
I’m staying with Davide, who has his own worries—he has to find a new place to live in a week—and we have differing attitudes to work and play. Some exposure to that difference can be very mutually beneficial—he is more social, I am more work-oriented, so he gets me out and I get him working—but enough’s enough. Right now I’m now waiting for him to wake up so we can call the central kennel to see if Jam’s been reported or turned in. I don’t have the number and they probably don’t speak English there. This dependency on others here due to the language makes living life feel like treading in treacle.
After the loss of Maddie this potential loss of Jam is just another terrible blow, so if I’m being beaten up, then what the hell, bring it on. I thought the worst was over, that after losing Maddie the rest of life would be relatively plain sailing, and I suppose it is. One is a cur to fate.
Last night I texted Jam’s previous dogsitter Fulvia to tell her to watch out in case she shows up at her doorstep. Turns out her own second dog was killed back in August. While I wasn’t glad to hear that, obviously, I admit to being warmed by this stark reminder that these things happen to us all.
I should be out doing something constructive, looking for her or something. But it was the thought of sitting with a cup of tea and writing this—I can’t face coffee nor food at the moment—that got me out of bed, otherwise I would have continued in there, foetally hiding from reality. And no matter what, it’s good to get up.
I’m still being cushioned from this situation, this new reality of a lost dog in a big city. All I can remember from my dreams was beginning a new academic year with new technologies, and manual train couplings. [Update 2016 Apr 5: The mind kicking in with compensatory comforts?]
Now I’m down at the bar where previously there was some wifi, but not today. Such are the vicissitudes of this stay in Rome; for me intermittent internet access is very disrupting. Besides, I’ve already bought my tea and sat down. Tea here in Rome is always served in a pot at least, even if it’s with one teabag and a suspect one at that. I’ve asked for another.
Update: I’m now at another bar down the street having another caffeinated drink in order to sit down and use the wifi leaking in, as it did a few days ago. But here too there’s none, and so I sit and fiddle while Rome burns, or at least, Jam freezes.