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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

WALK 2. Genoa


 Genoa is a port on the north Mediterranean coast of Italy; drive 150 km west and you're in France. I used the hair-raising aerial approach to Genoa airport in my novel Out Of Arizona. But this post is another matter.

I walked round Genoa in 1981 for an hour and a half and I've forgotten virtually every last detail. Well, almost...

On foreign trips as a journalist I always bought an evocative prezzie for VR. From Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, the mounted head of a piranha; from Tokyo a calligrapher's ink pad. These forays were harassing, often squeezed into twenty minutes before dinner. In Genoa I had time, perhaps too much. I walked quickly and covered a lot of ground, ending up footsore  But never discouraged. My abiding memory is I knew I would find a worthwhile gift. And I did.

A silver lizard, shaped into an S, its back adorned with enamel lozenges. Ten centimetres long, claws delicately detailed, intended as a pendant. Cheaper versions in street markets don’t come close

I loved it and I knew VR would. She wore it a lot, even informally.

Burglars stole the lizard and VR's engagement ring.

But the lizard still glows silvery matte as it did in 1981. And in moments of wellbeing I still sense the confidence I felt hurrying along Genoa's boulevards and back streets, knowing I would be successful.

WIP Second Hand (51,030 words)
“That’s not quite right. The addict is weakened, not all there. Me? I’m a bagload of endorphins, making use of what I’ve learnt. Trying out things for the first time. OK, I’m not hacking up someone’s windpipe so they’ll breathe again; it’s not life or death; it’s a private, contained, sometimes sordid world. But it’s fun and… it’s also serious.”

3 comments:

  1. OH! I gasped aloud when I read what happened to the lizard and VR's engagement ring. After my Oma died, my Onkel sent me the engagement ring my Opa had given her, and less than 6 months later, burglars had snagged from my apartment. What a horrible feeling. So I read your subsequent words with much feeling, "And in moments of well being I still sense the confidence I felt hurrying along Genoa's boulevards and back streets, knowing I would be successful." That's something the burglars can never steal!

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  2. Miserable, dastardly, unforgivable, heartless burglars.
    May their teeth be stolen while they are asleep.

    The walks collection is a good idea, well written. Do any photos of them exist?

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  3. RW (zS): Also stolen, but omitted from the account because it unbalanced the sentence, my mother's engagement ring, passed on to VR when my mother died.

    Natalie: Photos? Very rarely. I fear Tone Deaf is more into words.

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