4 May 2017: Way Out There In The Blue


Bits and Pieces of Blue

Do you know when a friend writes you a letter and it saves your life? That happened to me today. A friend in LA and I talk in extended emails that go for weeks. Suffice it to say, we talk about life in that intimate way that if anyone else were listening they’d die of an eye roll. Precious, maybe. But effective. My friend is a very real person, centering. It’s been a difficult few weeks in Italy. Daily life on the island is so placid that if you let it, it will not take shape. Time is amoeba like. Migrants get transferred without a word. Shops are open now for the approaching high season, but the streets sometimes go blank anyway. The language still evades me. I am misunderstood. Migrants make me feel like I belong. We know the same words natively. It’s getting hotter. The summer switched on and I’m blinking like I stepped out of midnight. I went out on a morning boat today with friends who had to literally complete a chore in the middle of the sea. For two hours I sat in the wind and only an eternity of blue. The divers plunged under and another climbed a signal station that looked like a ladder peeking out from another dimension. It was a YA fantasy novel, Mediterranean-style, the sick scene where the unknowing passenger turns dizzy from the motion. My vision lost its tracking staring at waves that refused to stop moving toward the direction of no destination. I chewed gum to keep from being sick. The divers emerged with micro-crustaceans colonized on their wetsuits. They were little crawlers that might have grown to crabs or lobsters or something. They looked like bits of seaweed dried on the warm edges of the rubber boat now. We returned to port and the rescue helicopters had ceased from morning runs that made way for passenger jets, which have been screaming overhead more today than they have in the weeks and weeks I’ve been here combined. The high season is definitely here, but would you know that that jet arrived to transfer refugees? My friend at the airport control tower texted me that it was. Still the sun is hot, and the majority of those jets going forward will be carrying tourists. I’m already beating most Italians at their status tans, no matter the amount of SPF I put over my arms. And I’ll leave you at that. I am off to ponder the stories I’ve heard against the levity of paradise. Which sounds heavy, and it is. You can expect something more concrete in dispatches in the coming weeks. For now, we wonder.