The next posts pick up my travels about Italy and France in mid and late May.  This first passage is cliche romantic hogwash, and the serious reader is advised to skip it.  I’ve included it only as a pale grasping to quickly and inadequately portray the wonder and texture of Western Europe for an american kid.  Any drops of originality or interest most likely lie in the second post, which picks up in France.

In any case: Later, after my un-sought, un-actualized crush-of-a-moment: my naive introduction to the old world, with its tender sunset on that lakeside town; had passed into the distant and hazy recollection of a Purple Land; after I had sliced southwards through the soft gold of a Tuscan spring, and ventured into that Grand Eternal Capital, where for a few nights my loneliness and heartache and exilehood were eased with bacchustry and pagan worship beneath the Coliseum, above the Vatican, in cahoots with my bosom bud, my living mate of this past year, Alexander Stephens; after I had made my way back north, moving slowly from village to village along the great spiny coast of that sea which has bourne a thousand heros, men on their way to death and glory, and heriones too (oh Dido, et dux femina facti!); and after I too had baptised myself in that oh! mighty sea and walked for long days in the wildflowers above it, and slept through the night on its sands, and gone hungry, with only the crackers of a kind clerk for sustinence, but revitalized again by the rhythm of the waves of that great Mar, beating against that ancient land of poetry; and, finally, crossing the border to that other land of poetry, of lost wars and revolutions and the Great Napoleon, I collapsed in Nice, which is no longer the Rivieria of Fitzgerald, and is sleezy and glitzy and saddened me, pining for the firefly nights of Italy.

And so, the next morning, awakening late, I decided I had already had enough of the casinos and sex shops and felt it was time to head north; Paris was calling me, and my friends, Tripp Gobble and Adam Sherwood, well, they called too.

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