Some would jump at the chance to jet off to Sicily. It’s an amazing place steeped in Greek, Arabic, Norman, French, Spanish, influence, as pretty much every major culture of the day invaded the island. It’s a beautiful land and often overlooked by tourists. Well, most of it is. There is the town of Taormina, and with a view like that one (see right), a vista that stretches out over the Ionian sea in one direction and Mt Etna in the other, it’s positively breathtaking.
It’s also Touristville for the Gucci-Prada-Versace-Euro-wealthy set.
Admittedly, sipping cappuccino, slurping up pasta all Norma, and hanging out with all the other writerati and glitterati at Taromina is attractive. Being considered an arty-farty ex-pat writer /intellectual has a certain appeal, especially when one takes into account writerati like Oscar Wilde, Evelyn Waugh, D.H. Lawrence and Truman Capote created some of their works whilst visiting, or living, in this little town. I’d so fit right in, what with my cheap-assed kid sunglasses from K-Mart, my olive Converse Chucks, and my ability to speak Eyetalian, Sicilian and German.
But I’m not going to Taormina. I’m not going to Palermo, Messina, or Catania. I’m not even going to Corleone, regardless of some offer I supposedly can’t refuse. I’m not going along on this trip at all. Nosiree. Been there and done all that. This time, I’m staying home. I’m going to spend my days at Shrinkytown. It’s gonna be FOUR weeks of MEEEE time. That means listening to Powerpop at 11, eating when and what I want (and I’m predicting that’s a hell of a lot of peanut butter), and banging out a few more chapters of And She Was. You see, while Shrinky does the land of his ancestors, attends a wedding, and consumes huge quantities of Arancini, Involtini, other ini foods, I’m going to be creative. I’m going to pull on my fake scholar boots and kick some PhD ass. I’m going to be touched by a muse named Vincenzo.
Or maybe his name’s Mario.