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OlderTime is a lonely bastard child. I knowhow it feels.I explore the spaces inside, moist hollowswhere the angels once workedtheir mischief. Strangewhat you can grow accustomed to. I probethe old scar tissue: smooth, numbin places. I imagine I can feeltheir shades, tactile afterimages: a zombiereflex, a longingfor a longing. It pullsat the center of my chest.I miss the certainty of need.I examine new possibilities, takesteps, show interest, craft a proposition,cut a book deal. I have always been honest,goodfor others, even at my worst. I read. I write.I observe, offer advice. Business is easyto come by.I have my way with words.I nurture the spark, zapit with alternating current, breathe lifeinto the old girl. She gags,stutters for breath, settles into a raggedpurr. Obsolete and in needof a tune-up, but serviceable. Not so nearlybroken.
One AfternoonOne AfternoonA bunch of us boyson the Gonzagain Florence programcruisedinto Antonios Café.Toni sold espresso,panini, and snacks. Theplace had anupstairsand shelves andshelves of liqueurs. Hissandwiches werecheapand good.Ciao, Toni!Then one of us sawit. Wesensedthe change. All turnedas a gorgeous youngwomanrolled bybehind the wheelof a cherryItalian sportscar.The sunshine made itperfect.And then Toni:Che macchina!We all laughed likehell.It amazes me that theguy whoowned that thingeverlet it out of his sight.