Under the Terracina Sun, Act I. Cast of Characters.


SETTING: Modern day. Terracina, Italy. Beach shacks serving pasta, panini, and ice cream. A rainbow of beach umbrellas. A dead end street with a German name – Via Bad Homburg. A bare, dust-filled apartment, long-fallen into disuse.

Act I. Cast of characters.

E – Female, 30. The heroine. Serial expat. Breathtakingly gorgeous.

La Maga Circe – Female, millions of years old. A mountain that appears to float in the sea. Rumored to have been the home of Circe. So named for her resemblance to a witch’s jagged profile. Looms over the town; keeps watch.

The tourists – From other parts of Italy, Russia, Germany, and other European countries. They dance in the clubs along the boardwalk at night and plod around town wearing only bathing suits during the day. Speedos, imprisoning a variety of unsightly male bits. Baggy trunks, with Hot Buttered printed on the back. Bikini tops with the straps worn down. Brown skins. The Italians laugh, the Germans swim even when the water is too cold for everyone else. Double the population of the town from May to September.

Zio Enrico – Male, mid-40s. E’s young uncle. Lives in Colleferro, digs astrology, and wears purple suede shoes. Determined to learn English.

Mario – Male, mid-60s. The family’s business administrator who, as our heroes will learn in 2014, has embezzled most of her mother’s and her uncle’s inheritance. In 2010 he appears to be a family friend who has managed the apartment in her parents’ absence. In 2016 he can choke on his own vomit and E would be thrilled. Figlio di puttana. Gobo maledetto.

Leone – Male, age indeterminate. The local handyman in town who has been hired to fix some of the things that were broken in the apartment. Speaks local dialect, full of “sh” sounds and switches from “o” to “u” as in words like “ora” and “cosa.” Ura. Cusa. Lavatrish. Says: The apartment runs on gas, okay? You need to open the gas when you want to use it and close it when you don’t. Every day – open, close. Open, close. Understood? You understand Italian, right?

The DiVecchios – The upstairs neighbors, Eugenio and Maria. Parents to a beautiful little girl named Ilaria, one. Bafflingly kind to E. Have offered the use of their internet connection, an old red bicycle, and have even invited her over to their apartment for dinner. Spaghetti alle vongole. Swordfish steaks. Gelato. Fresh melon. Lots of wine. Note – it takes E three glasses of wine to start forgetting Italian verbs, and four to start forgetting Italian nouns. The DiVecchios have given E a bag full of lemons from their tree.

Manuel – Male, early 30s. The man who runs the pensione across the street. Has offered to answer any questions E might have; let her use the hotel’s wireless for free before she got the password for the DiVecchio connection upstairs and when she didn’t have change for a three postcards she wanted to buy said: You can pay me later.

Signor Silvio – Male, mid-80s. Manuel’s father; the man who used to run the pensione. He is old now, and no longer “there.” Sits in a wheelchair out in the cortile and glares at E when she passes.

Toto – Signor Silvio’s dog. He lies in the bushes and barks at the motorcycles that putter along the street. A big German shepherd.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. isa says:

    mi fai tanto ridere e non vedo l’ora di vedere come si svolgono le cose in questo racconto quotidiano! Che bello aver qualcosa d’interessante da leggere in mezzo a tutto questo casino clinico che mi gira in testa! Bravissima!!!

    1. ieatmypigeon says:

      Glad you liked it, Mom.

  2. China says:

    mmm I wonder…..

    1. Paul says:

      Those guys on the beach, Enzo e Ugo, are clearly fans of Lazio and Roma, respectively – look at the colors of their swim trunks! Ugo, on the right, wears his hat to show his fervent support of Fabio Capello (all Capello fans wear a hat at all times).

      These are actual facts. And if you need to look up Fabio Capello, then you’ve been raised by Laziali disgraziati…

      1. ieatmypigeon says:

        Hmm… Fabio Capello… is that sports? In which case, I wouldn’t know anything about him even if I’d grown up in Lazio myself. It’s true. I half-believe that football involves kicking around a foot.

  3. Nick says:

    Brilliant – can’t wait for act 2! Though I’m slightly disappointed La Mage Circe isn’t an old grandmother who lives across the street from you…

    1. ieatmypigeon says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I actually found the great-aunt who lives across the hall from me; Zia Malevola. She will be a bit character, as she only lives in Latina for a few weeks each summer.

      Here’s how we met:

      I was trying to open the garage door – rusted, heavy – and grunting like a little girl about it. Then, from above, I hear: “Hey!” I look up, and it’s an old woman, standing on a balcony. She says: “I hear someone whingeing down there. Who are you? Are you Isa’s daughter?”

      I say, “Yes. Are you Zia Malevola?”

      She says, “Yes. Why are you whingeing so much?”

      I say, “Because the door is really heavy and I’m really weak.”

      She says, “Oh.”

      I say, “Nice to meet you!”

      She says, “You look like Isa.”

      I say, “I know.”

      She says, “Well, come on upstairs. I’m making roast veal.”

      And it was freaking delicious.

      1. Nick says:

        Only been there a few days, and you’re already whingeing, huh? Disgraceful! I hope you finished your plate of veal at least.

      2. ieatmypigeon says:

        It was heavy! Well, maybe “whingeing” wasn’t the right word. Grunting? Huffing and puffing? Throwing lame karate kicks? Remember, I’m translating from Italian. The word she used was “lamentando” so… lamenting, maybe. I don’t like being reminded of my less-than-superhuman strength.

        They gave me about three plates of the veal (all of which I finished). Probably to beef me up so that I’d be better able to open rusted garage doors in the future.

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