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Going Dutch

April 9, 2011

Sometimes it’s really unbelievable when you stop for just a second in life and, taking a quick look around, realize the strange beauty of the moment you’re living.

Thus was the case the other day when I found myself sitting on a Roman beach, under a hotter than normal April sun, in a just purchased totally Italian bathing suit (when the top doesn’t necessarily match the bottom but the sales girl convinced you it is carino) with my new friend, Ron.  Dutch.  Homosexual.  Hairdresser. 50+.  Not necessarily a typical choice of spiaggia partners- but a good one.  Perhaps better than most.

I guess I shouldn’t be at all perplexed at how I got there- I mean, I was at the time staying with a friend who was my Italian teacher two summers ago in a private language school in central Rome.  Students then included two nuns, a banker from Paris, and a 20-yr. old German girl with silver hair and two chihuahuas-a real one, and its tattooed portrait on her calf.  It would seem logical that such a crazy past would lead me directly to that equally crazy present.

Anyway, back to Ron.  As funny as it was to share that small portion of sand with a virtual stranger, it’s, in my opinion, those chance encounters with unexpected personalities that teach you the most about the spot that you’re in…not the one on the beach, but that period you’re living.  And so it was with my nordic, hairdresser, beach-lover friend.  One small, completely sound, 100% intelligent comment from him really hit me right where my brain had been stuck on repeat.  Those thoughts swirling around in my head were suddenly halted and organized by someone who’d I’d just barely met. I guess that’s why it happens the way it does in life- without thinking or knowing you’re right where you need to be, to hear just what you need to hear.  And it all seems right…even for a millisecond.

I suppose I needed to go to Italy to get a Dutch perspective.

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