December 31, 2003

Happy 2004!

New Years is always a let down. Every year I feel compelled to do something crazy and spontaneous. I go out of my way to make it memorable and special and then the clock strikes midnight and it’s always just so anti-climatic. I do have some strange New Years stories though. One of the most interesting ones was when I was in Rome.

I was all alone and determined to have a good time. My hotel room was all dirty white tile and smelled like a sewer. That morning the hot water had broken, so I couldn’t even take a shower. There was no way I was going back there until well into the morning.

I decided that I was going to sit down to a nice dinner. I never sat down in restaurants when I was alone and I decided I should change that. In Europe on New Years every place has a pre-fix menu, all the courses and wine at a set price. I wandered all over the city and no one would seat a single girl, it would be a waste of a table I guess. Finally I ended up at the place I’d had dinner the night before. It was sort of a crumby place, more of a café than a restaurant, with an internet station in the corner. They were willing to have me, though, and they had dressed the place up for New Years with streamers and table cloths. I ate the whole three course meal and the half carafe of wine that came with it.

After dinner I wander over to the Spanish steps. The city was madness. The streets were filled with people and all the street merchants, who normally sold bootleg Cds, had filled their blankets with bottles of spumanti and noise makers. I climbed to the top of the steps to watch the fire works. There was no getting around it, I was lonely. I was wandering aimlessly down the steps, waiting for midnight to strike, when some boy gave me a look and said hello. At this point in my sojourn in Italy I was pretty desperate to hook up with an Italian, you know, as part of the cultural experience. This guy wasn’t gorgeous, but he wasn’t ugly either.

I started talking to him. Midnight came and he wished me Auguri, I wondered if he was going to kiss me. There were more fireworks and then he did, and it was awful. No subtlety what so ever, he just attacked my mouth with his tongue. I continued to make out with him, hoping I could work through it and eventually find his lips. Finally I just refused to open my mouth and he got somewhat insulted, “what? You don’t want to kiss me?” he asked. The making out proved hopeless, but I figured he could at least help me find the subway. Unfortunately he wasn’t from Rome, he was from some small town in the country In fact it turned out he wasn’t even Italian, he was Greek!

As we walked he kept expounding cheesy romantic sentiments saying, “do you think it is really possible that a man who speaks very little English and a woman who speaks very little Italian can fall in love?” and something about how all he cares about is football (meaning soccer) and women. Eventually we found the subway and I said, “well you should probably go meet up with your friends now, right?”
“oh no,” he said, “I’ll find them later,” and he proceeded to get on the subway with me.

Under the greenish light of the subway car he suddenly did look very ugly to me. I was disappointed and annoyed. My face must have betrayed my feelings, because he gave me a meek, pitiful look. When the subway came to my stop he got off with me. Now it was time to lay down the law. I tried to be nice about it, I really did. But he seemed to think I was just playing hard to get. Eventually I just flat out yelled at him, “Go Away. Don’t you understand? Va via, NOW!” He backed away, at first startled and looking somewhat heartbroken, then he knit his brows fiercely, turned and stomped off without looking back. So much for my new year’s kiss. Hopefully tonight will be better.

Posted by on December 31, 2003 7:26 PM