My last night in Italy is spent amidst a tempest the likes of which I have yet to witness. The friends that are in town; Max, his brother, Lucca, Fabio (the Kyuss) and his lady all meet at the Gnocci Palace (this is not it's real name, but the name given to it by Craig from Inside, nine years ago) for a last meal of pizza and an appetizer of proscuitto with a large ball of Buffalo Mozzarella. Everyone is run down after last night, where there was much drinking and pizza eating. I lost count of my beers after the two glasses of Knob Creek bourbon that could be found at the pizza place. All I know of last night is that "The Captain", a friend of Max's who is in fact a Captain in the Italian Army, drove me home at two or so, and I proceeded to feel aweful all night long. I awoke to find Max outside, eager to drive his brother and I to Chinese food, which was fantastic but my body was in no mood. I had them bring me back to Paolo's house where I laid around the rest of the day.
Which brings me to the end of dinner, as we all stand outside, the rain pouring down as movie magic thunder and lightning illuminate the sky and rip open the air. I always thought that the storms shown in horror movies from Europe were exaggerating, but no, one flash after another of lightning made me feel as though I was at risk of being knocked out of my shoes and left half braindead due to the metal keys in my pocket. To supress the fretting, I smoke my new pipe, bought in Alessandria yesterday. I think it suits me more than my previous pipe.
Then it's time to make the mad dash to the car, where everyone piles in to take me home and say goodbye. After another two weeks spent in this country, and this town, the goodbyes are more solem, more heartfelt, and more intent on not showing how much we all wish it could go on, and how much we feel for each other.
And upstairs, from Paolo's apartment balcony, I watch as the heavens are indeed lowered.