Copy Queen Papers, part 1.2

18 marzo 1996

Life here presents many challenges. For instance, tomorrow I have an appointment with a person I’ve never met across a town I barely know for a purpose I’m only slightly sure of. I believe myself to be going to an interview with an advertising agency. This is in some way connected with my previous interview to instruct a wealthy family in English, though I am uncertain about the connection. It’s not unlike Taos. Through an elusive series of cousins I have been made available for interview to the Agenzia di Pubblicittà. As of this moment I am still unsure whether anyone in said office speaks a word of English. The appointment was made for me through three other persons, two of whom are named Bianca oddly enough.

I went out by myself again today. Armed with a map on this particular occasion though as it turns out—and this is the funny thing—when I was lost the other night I added an hour onto my journey by walking right over the correct corner and moving right along without reading that particular street name.

In my defense I would like to point something out. Literally 90-some% of the buildings in Milano proper are between 5 and 8 stories tall; they are done in a very narrow architecture idiom; and the city is on a grid pattern circa 800 AD. It’s easier to get lost here than say...at the Mabel Dodge Lujan spread, where I was lost for about three hours as a 12 year old. But that’s another one for the memoirs.

Today was uneventful, really. I did participate in the diabolical scheme of a couple delicious skirts. Did I say skirts? I meant to say something nasty. No, they were wonderful and sweet. All I needed after the encounter was a toothpick. Good God, where does this boy’s evil streak come from? Anyway... I was stopped on the street by two girls who informed me—after being the first to call me me «Straniere» (≈gringo but somewhat more cordial)—that since la Scala’s evening of Beethoven and friends was booked solid the theater was taking names for a bee list, should reservations fail to show. The girls were apparently trying to get everyone in their clique into a better class with some classical music, they had already signed up and needed another name on reserve (for some unseen young man no doubt—cuckolded again, without even participating). I bravely marched to the theatre official with the list and put my name upon it. “That’s Pond. P-O–” “T?” “No, P.” “B?” “No, Pi-Oh-Enne–Di.” The final sample of this brave fellow’s work was, “Pont”. But what are you gonna do? I’ve had worse in America. I told the girls what to expect from the garbanzo and I went off in search of post cards and dozing models. Ironically garbanzo is not an Italian word.

Also I have reversed my opinion of breasts on teevee. It is an evil bane that is corrupting the young Italian mind. And it’s no fun being an illegal alien. And also it’s no fun getting to see everything you’re not getting to uh... you know.

So I bumped into Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell yesterday. And they were not nearly as pretty in person. But just as much like bumper cars as you might guess. They were practically begging me to go out with them. But I told them I would always be faithful to my one true love, Jocelyn. Elders that is. Boy that woman knows how to put a condom on correctly, let me tell you.

It’s very strange to see centimeters on the top of your computer window. It’s even weirder to see your fonts on a computer running Windows ’95 in Italian. At least the “OK” button is the same.

Well, this English writing thing is getting me tired and messing up what little Italian I have learned today and these folks have a habit of getting up in the morning. So that’s it for another night.

-Fine Secondo Tempo-

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