Amare, Amar, To Love
Adventures never start with a warning sign, with any type of street light indicating a stop, go position; adventures feast upon the spontaneity of brave hearts, of inquisitive minds, of wonderfully restless spirits.
It seems only natural that Molly and I would walk the completely opposite direction from where our BNB actually was… This is a sweet demonstration to why God allows us to veer in the direction we’re so adamant is the correct way, or the place we most desire. But from what I gathered this night, he was everything but an observer.
The night began in a whirlwind of tasteless jokes and punchy parodies, particularly those that revolved around gospel music and Les Mis. Call it an inundation of jetlag, the symptoms of consecutive sleepless nights or the reaction that stems from two chemicals inclined to exhale a gasping breath of complimentary colors when combined, but I, personally, would never choose words as a medium to convey the crazy that is put down when Marianthy and I are together on nights like these.
He was in the patience of the first lady we asked for directions. But He was mostly in the circle of protection around us throughout tonight. He guarded us as we had to traverse dark alleys… And held us tight as He breathed courage in Molly to pray for a beautiful crippled woman, that had been begging for money up and down the street… To the consistent trust families and couples responded with at the Fontana when we offered to take their picture (Mostly, Molly started this awesome domino effect throughout the fountain where people offered to help others get their picture taken)…
Dinner near the Trevi Fountain and Marianthy’s regrettable selection of tasteless Ruffino that only quenched our senses desire to take a vacation. She had soup with her parmiggiano reggiano cheese, and I had a baked sea bass, a meager and starving excuse of a young fish who swam around in the tangy vinegar in which I drenched in more than in the sea. We paid for the bread. Three euros that saw the sweaty palms of a restaurant owner or waiter who actually deserved it.
That was a terrible bottle of wine at dinner. But it became a vessel for the realization of the columns of trust that God has built as cornerstones to our friendship. So we broke bread. And we drank terrible wine. And we shared our hearts. With jokes ringing out of our mouths, and hearts emitting a raw vulnerability and warmth, we strolled to our gelato shop for a second round. We settled down on the steps of an apartment complex, got scared off by the opening of the door by exiting owners, cozied up on another pair of steps, and just as we were finishing up our last licks, I felt an approaching presence. Thick, and the corners of my eyes saw a shadow approaching. As I turn, a man attempts to jump at us but before he can even come close enough for me to smell him, he completely bounces off. At this point, though, Molly and I have our arms linked together and we are attached to the hip, we stroll over to the steps by the Fontana, where her Life-led, Life- centered life was affirmed. I mean come on, demonic presences don’t bounce off death. Or fear. They bounce off Life, Love…
… Did I mention that this transpired after a second gelato…? It did and the gelato server at the gelato bar was a butt hole when he pointed out that I was pursuing a second round… [Anyways, afterwards] I gave money to a young woman supporting her dysfunctional legs on a skateboard. Just when I was about to chalk the magnetism up to my hindered mind, Marianthy planted a prematurely sprouted seed in my heart with flowers that called me to pray for the woman. I prayed for her.
And the adventure concluded– no, began, when we went the completely opposite direction from where our BNB was, and once we had walked a million blocks, I finally asked an impatiently beautiful woman where the stazione Termini was. She gave us rushed directions and went on her way. These directions could not have been more perfect, because they derailed us from the path we were so convinced was the correct one, and led us to bump into two young ladies…. “La stazione Termini– dove sta?” I asked, attempting to hide the fact I actually had no flipping idea where I was. And before I could even catch my breath, they asked me if I spoke Spanish. Divine appointment they call it. Just the other day I had asked God for the opportunity to speak Spanish this month. Not only did I get to partake in an awesome 40 minute conversation in Spanish, all four of us trooped through the dark alleys…. All the way to Termini station and our BNB… Did I mention they were from Mexico?
Two incredible Mexican girls, getting lost, finding our way in the light of their hospitality and openness, warnings of prostitutes, a hostile sneer and animalistic noises in response to a cat call (the three Mexicans told Molly not to do that again), and a sincere desire to speak Spanish. Our night. My first verb conjugation in Spanish:
Thank you, Jesus. Amen.