Just days prior to my leaving for Italy I was verbally and physically assaulted by a long-time friend, a sometimes-recovering alcoholic who is ironically a license clinical social worker. Very drunk, words tore from his broken soul, fuelled by grief and rage. Deliberately focusing on his face, I markedly chose to see but not absorb the fury.
He began breaking and throwing my belongings over the bannister, then proceeded to launching objects at me, my own glass of water, raspberries freshly washed, gifts for friends, anything he could put his hands on. Backed into a corner I fell against a bookshelf and terrified, called the police.
I was able to get out of the house onto the sidewalk where I waited for the police to arrive as the raging continued. A thirty minute one-man-show ensued, he yelling from the wide porch every conceivable insult, first at me, then the police. Finally after his partner arrived he was transferred to hospital for observation.
In that moment all the years of pessimism, being called "crazy", the negativity, "we're not spring chickens", the faithlessness of kin, close friends and especially me, was condensed and magnified. Consoled I'd withstood the beast, not my broken friend, but the liar within, and without, the doubter, the non-believer, the coward; I was deeply rattled.
"You think you're special?
That life is all about beauty?"
In Rome the bruises on my arm, and neck and back were obvious. I emailed my therapist for an online session.
I say " I believe, I believe, " but when it comes time to put a foot out of the boat and walk on some water…I'm fucking terrified. The hardest part is the the first step. The only time I went repelling, strapped into a harness, ropes and pulleys holding me aloft, looking down a two hundred foot drop, it's natural to think, "what the what?"
Taking that first step over, it was strikingly anti-climatic.
Here, there is no job waiting for me, I have to make that up, same as I did in the US.
Maybe it will be teaching yoga, walking dogs and finally connecting with the art community here, it's all unknown at this writing. But I'm here against many odds, and go, day by day.