House Number 1548 | Day 6 of 365 days of stories

August 31, 2010

1548, Venice
1548, Venice

“I’ve found the perfect place,” he said under his breath, as he sipped his coffee and pretended read the newspaper.

“Oh?” She tucked her foot back, stretching, to tap his sole. It was a slight movement, no real physical contact, but it meant the world to her.

“In the courtyard, near the osteria where we first met. Number 1548.”

By all accounts, the place looked nondescript. There was tape holding the buzzer in place, and a grocery mailer stuck in the scroll work. But, ohh, the scroll work! Somehow, it all seemed so special, so full of meaning – the hearts in the scroll work, the location, the house number alluding to the day they met. Seemingly commonplace to most, but heaven to her.


Summertime and yearning for Venice

March 4, 2009

I’ve been on a bit of a consumption binge lately. Needing to consume – purchasing, consuming movies, books, knowledge. Just trying to break out of my rut, watching the same Family Guy episode for the umpteenth time while glazed over.

This weekend I watched Summertime, a movie from the 50s starring Katharine Hepburn. I’m not sure that I have ever seen one of Hepburn’s movies before, but I decided I really don’t care for her. At all.

However, the movie itself was good. It had technicolor on its side, and it was set in Venice which made me long for another trip there. It’s already being planned in my head. Heavy wine drinkers need apply.

One of the things that struck me about this movie was Hepburn’s character – she arrives in Venice, and she carries this film camera with her everywhere, capturing every moment, preserving it on film. She doesn’t really experience anything – the only contact she really has at this point is with the other tourists at the hotel. A hot blonde and her artist boyfriend, the proprietor of the hotel (who offers her some fine Italian drink, which she decides to mix with bourbon), and some tourist-old-couple she met on the water taxi.

Then she meets a man – the man. He sets her heart (or something else) aflutter, but she spends the next half hour acting like an ass instead of enjoying the moment. Then she gives in, and the camera disappears. She begins to experience Venice, experience love and life, and the camera is no where in sight for the rest of the movie. Of course, I guess she should have acted like an ass – turns out he is married. But that is beside the point.

I have to wonder if the obsolete camera is intentional as she begins to experience Venice. Does this mean David Lean felt the same way I do? That the camera somehow abstracts you from reality, from the moment, even though it is capturing that moment for a lifetime or more? That the camera interferes with your ability to experience by placing a mechanical device and a lens between you and life?


Rain, rain, stay a day

January 4, 2008

Venice, where I wished I had galoshes

It’s a rainy, gray day. Storms have moved in and winds have howled all night long for two nights now. It sounds like there’s a waterfall in the breezeway. Some people pay good money for the soothing sound of a waterfall.

But I don’t mind – today gives me an excuse to wear my galoshes! And my red raincoat.

Happy Friday!