Artichoke 1 Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/newspaper 17 x 25" 43 x 63cm
Artichoke 2 (vertical possible) Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/newspaper 17 x 25" 43 x 63cm
Artichoke 3 Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/newspaper 17 x 25" 43 x 63cm
Two Pigeons Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/newspaper 17 x 25" 43 x 63cm
Alleys by our House Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/newspaper 17 x 25" 43 x 63cm
Black Cat Hanging Around my Door Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/newspaper 17 x 25" 43 x 63cm
Black Bird Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/newspaper 17 x 25" 43 x 63cm
Tiber in Winter Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 16 x 24" 40 x 50cm
Horse in Borghese Gardens Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 16 x 20" 40 x 50cm
We drove into the city of Rome today, for the second time this week. We went on Wednesday, just for fun – we need our city fix from time to time and there is no better place. Seriously, Blair and I both have always said Rome was our favorite city in the world. He has seen more cities than I have, but it would take a lot to knock Rome out of that number one slot for me.
There is just so much there, and it is so deep. From the Etruscans, to the Romans, to the Italians, there are layers upon layers of history. I love driving into Rome itself, from our bucolic corner with olive trees and hill towns, by the fields of sheep, the murmuration of starlings, the car dealerships, the billboard for Enzo, private investigator; the prostitutes and hourly hotels; the curtains shading the balconies, the laundry; the umbrella pines giving way to the villas at the outskirts of town.
Blair and I ate at a dive he and his college buddies used to go to in the 1970s: il Delfino. The lasagna was 5 euros and there was an assortment of pizza slices. We got on the bus and rode around like we were in a chauffeur driven limousine. One can’t drive in downtown Rome, like many Italian cities. We observed cats among Roman ruins, and watched the Tiber (Tevere) flow past.
Today, our destination wasn’t into the center city but to a rather funky contemporary neighborhood, where we were buying a gas stove. It was paved with less lovely buildings, but rich, nonetheless with life. Evidence of the garbage strike, and people waiting for buses, 99 cent fruit stands and tabacchi(s) welcomed us.
Our new apartment in Stimigliano came with a stove “never used”. This was because when you plugged it into the wall, the power failed. I feel lucky this was among the few tricks played on us; it’s Italy, after all. Blair had been eyeing a gas cooktop/gas oven model. We went to a local vendor on 8 January, when it would have been marked down: SOLD, in fact. So, when this model came up, we wasted no time jumping on it.
The seller and his wife were real characters. He looked like the chubby rat that drove the coach for Cinderella. Beady, lashless eyes, a pointy nose, and sharp backward-tilting teeth – he was smiling and happy. His friend Melania, similarly circular, had shaved eyebrows filled in with purple pencil. She was a bleach blonde with black roots. I could see her sewing Cinderella’s dress. She made me coffee and chatted. I felt good about them, the stove was clean and he helped us pack it into the car.
On the way home, I thought about how it is possible to enjoy every minute of life. Without expectations, all is new and beautiful, like a child seeing snow for the first time. Using our grocery caddy as a dolly, we moved our old stove into the studio, and got this new model inside the kitchen. I feel like a new beginning. Maybe I’ll bake a cake.