Back in Italy. Twenty-one degrees and beautiful out. My pink oleander tree is dead. The gas man left great big muddy footprints in my kitchen when he replaced the tank. Ilaria screams through the ceiling. Cricket chirps instead of construction drills; back to speaking Italian instead of English; stores closed from one to four for siesta. The tourists are gone. The beach is empty and cold. Quiet. So much quiet, just as my mother’s cousin said. Dublin’s Georgian doors and capital city bustle – indeed, any of my past lives – couldn’t seem farther away.
Leone: You know, my name ish Leo, too, like you, but they call me Leone. Do you know why?
Leo: No. Why?
Leone: Becaush unce I went to the jungle. And in the jungle, I shaw a liun.
Leo: You went to the jungle? Well, then, why didn’t you bring us back any coconuts?
I really, really, really need to meet some people my own age.