A Crazy Angel from Naples…Angelo Pazzo da Napoli!

Posted on February 28, 2011

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Dear Scatola,

This means “box” in Italian. I learned this word today because I refused to separate and put all the toys away that the boys dumped out all over their bedroom. There are about 6 different toy boxes each compartmentalized for specific toys. The wood toys go in one, the tiny soldiers have one, all the animals have one, all the action figures have another; we get it. I get it. But why is their favorite game to mix and mash them all up together and create massive “wars!” with all the toys? T told me many weeks ago that it “isn’t your job” to pick up all their toys everyday and that I “must make them make order” when this happens so they don’t take advantage of me. We are still learning this process. I am still learning ways to speak to them so they understand what I am telling them in both Italian and then English. Make some order means clean up your mess! “Put them away…” Matteo will repeat and say when I tell them to help me. He gets it and almost always will be there to help clean up and make order. Tommaso, on the other hand, somehow sneaks away and I find him in another room doing something else. He reminds me of myself in the way that when I didn’t want to clean the kitchen I would excuse myself to use the bathroom then not come back! He is really smart this one and sneaky like me so he doesn’t get away with much since I know his tricks. I have been here almost three months and luckily, I still have not had to resort to any bribery whatsoever! Tommaso will ask, “help me please?” while he is picking up 2 out of 34 toys and then soon as I start to help him (since he asked me in English!) he slowly stops and then soon I am asking him to “help me please..!” until he comes back to finish. It is crazy that a huge mess can be created in less than 2 minutes yet take up to 45 minutes to clean up!!! Help me please….auitare per favore….

Today we played dress up with a bunch of funny costumes that they had hiding (in my room of all places) but I told them that we could not start this new game until we picked up all the toys (new mess) on the living room floor. T was home by now and heard this conversation with me and the boys. Tommaso got really mad and went to tell him mother that “a lei non capisce niente!” (she doesn’t understand anything!) I look at her and look at him and tell him that I do understand what he said! She tells him that I do understand him even if I cannot respond in full Italian. I told him what she told him, “clean this up FIRST and then you may dress up!” She makes him clean up the first mess before we move on to make another. Mom lays down the law and he really only listens to her. I am lucky when she is there because some days are harder than others. At least they always make me laugh! These poses and costumes are amazing…

It is Monday and the boys are still home sick. This time its their antibiotics making them not feel so great. Each had to use the bathroom 3-4 times once they woke up! Poor kids; first the flu, then earache and now: the runs?? Some how I am lucky that I have developed an immunity since my arrival. I got sick for about a week but I think it was not only the boys, but the jet-lag, lack of sleep and sudden changes I faced made me overwhelmed and my body gave out. Still healthy and not sick and its been 15 days that they have been “home” sick with something! I believe if their mornings tomorrow are more normal they are going to go to school. I hope so. I really want the house to myself to dye my hair! I bought color over 2 weeks ago but have not had a moment long enough alone to foil some of my hair…my roots are getting way out of control! Why I lightened my hair even more before I left I have no clue. I was such a mess the weeks before my departure I still laugh at the items that I packed! Where was my mind..?

I finally got to go and see Black Swan at the cinema! In English with Italian subtitles (sottotitoli in italiano). I knew that it was a “dark” movie but I didn’t know it was THIS crazy! I loved it and thought that everyone was fantastic…I have been waiting for 6 months to see this film! It came out right when I arrived here (in the STATES) and it just wa released last weekend here. For someone who LOVES the movies and on top of new films; Italy is NOT the place to be for movie lovers…SOOOO behind with their movies! I will see previews for movies that are on DVD at home. That is behind. I already complained about the popcorn not being hot and buttery but this theatre where they play the films in English doesn’t even have a concession stand. You would think there would be an excess in American food and a Macdonald’s next door.

After Texa and I saw the film we were in a Black Swan dazed and confused stumble. We both were hungry since we didn’t get any snacks during the film so we walked to her friends pizza place for cheap dinner. After we paid we walked back outside to head home. Chowing out pizza and walking under an umbrella is quite the task! It is supposed to rain ALL WEEK! Bad weather makes it difficult to do anything or go anywhere but you just have to put on the right boots, grab your umbrella and hope that a tiny car doesn’t hit a puddle just right to ruin your clothes and soak you.

While waiting for my (first bus) I noticed this crazy looking fellow pacing and talking to himself at my stop. I tried not to make eye contact with him and patiently wait for the bus, praying for it to hurry up and hope for others on the bus so that I wouldn’t be alone with him. I don’t know what he was saying and muttering but I got nervous being around him when I couldn’t see any other people on the street. Finally the bus came! He looks right at me and points with his umbrella and tells me, “the bus…the bus!” in perfect English and tells me, “you speak English.” He doesn’t ask me he tells me, as if he has known me forever. “Yes, I speak English.” It is just him and I and he sits two seats away. I feel like he is actually pretty normal I am probably the crazy one to him. He talks to me a little and asks if I am English and I tell him I am from the States not London. “Well you all speak the same language so you are all English to me.” He asks if I am from California and I tell him close to there but no. He tells me he is from Los Angeles. I believe him until he lets out a bellowing laugh and says, “No, no, I am an angel from Naples!” Maybe he is crazy after all? “Los Angeles is full of angels, no?” He asks me. “Umm..I guess.” I tell him and then he goes on and on about angels and that we are all angels and there are angels everywhere around us. This I agree with him. I think there are angels everywhere, we just can’t see them all. We have a short spiritual chat until its time for him to get off the tiny bus. He is about to exit the bus and turns to me (very dramatic…like the final scene of a play) “It is not moments you know…”? “No?” I ask. “It is seconds! Seconds….NOT moments!” He shouts and turns his head very dramatically then abruptly leaps off as if he is jumping off a bridge even though it is a mere 2 foot step. He almost drops his umbrella and then waves to me and pulls the brim of his fedora down to say his final farewell. I did not get him name. He was my crazy angel from Naples. Wise words that man said…I will never forget that 4 minute bus ride home. Never a dull moment. Mai. (never…)

Nancie

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Posted in: When in Rome