262. Coffee room. "Congratulations!" I tell her, after Geluck offered his own compliments. Still emotionally overwhelmed by the positive outcome of her PhD grant application, my former office-mate tries to discreetly wipe a tear. That gesture suddenly reminds me of an afternoon when I tried, and failed spectacularly, not to cry in front of her, and the many, many months that followed during which we wordlessly walked pass each other along the narrow corridor. Smiling, I feel happy for her achievement, and for the fact that I feel sincerely happy for her achievement.
263. Rino Son Resto. The waiters have just brought us the menus. Girl #1 makes some witty remark, Girl #2 laughs, I offer a tight-lipped smile. "You are cheerful today," Girl #1 remarks drily. "I am smiling!" I protest, knowing full well that I am using the verb liberally. It has been a long day.
In front of Capoue. Drinking a milkshake, Girl #2 complains, "This is not like in Rome." "Nothing is like in Rome," Girl #1 replies. While they discuss their mutual love, my mind temporarily drifts to this mysterious place that I have never been. When I am back to the present, Girl #2 is debating whether she would choose Paris or Rome as the city to live. "If I am the other person..." she is saying. "What do you mean you are the other person?" Girl #1 interrupts. "How can you be the other person? What other person?" At the thoroughly confused look on Girl #1's face, I try hard not to laugh, in case Girl #2 thinks it is because of her English expression. The determination to resist laughing coupled with the strong desire to laugh results in me laughing and spitting ice-cream everywhere.
Pasta, pizza, ice-cream and friends. A combination that works every time.
264. (Biking) the long way home, just because at the end of such a hot and long day, it is nice to feel the cool evening wind, and to suddenly have both the energy to do something (probably thanks to all the pasta, pizza, and ice-cream...) and the desire to do something...