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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:

Rouchswalwe said...

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!

Natalie D'Arbeloff said...

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?

Roderick Robinson said...

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.