tivoli-sunset

Vacation: All I Ever Wanted

If it’s been a while since my last post, and I know it has been, it’s because I went to Italy for 12 days and I’ve simply not been the same since coming back.

To elaborate, I mean to say that reality is no longer the same for me. You see, I used to think it was cool that I worked five jobs, and got to play music professionally, and got to see lots of cool things, and meet lots of “interesting” people, and eat lots of amazing food, and that I could do all that because of all the work I put in at my various jobs.

However, now that I’ve actually seen what cool things are for the first time, and I’ve encountered real, actually interesting people, and I’ve tasted truly amazing food, I realize everything I thought about my life before is total bull$#!+!

There is nothing cool about working your @$$ off to be able to provide yourself and your loved ones with mediocre experiences in subpar destinations; sharing so-so meals with them, and talking about mindless, useless dribble.

What’s cool is working for the Italian postal service, whose hours are 8:30 am to 1:35 pm, Tuesday-Friday, to be able to make just enough money for the week to buy groceries from the market just a short walk from your tiny hillside flat in Tuscany. What’s cool is coming home from said market with bags full of fresh pasta, vine-ripe tomatoes, the freshest meats and seafood known to humanity, the world’s most amazing wines and cheeses, and all of this from farms within minutes of the market in question. What’s cool is olives that are green like basil leaves and taste of the source of the most phenomenally expensive olive oil you’ve ever had, not olives that are green like army uniforms and taste of pickle juice and pimentos. What’s cool is having enough free time to enjoy the fruits and spoils of your environment, your labor, and the labor of those with whom you share an environment; preparing ingredients as slowly as they were created while you sip on the world’s most amazing (and inexpensive) wine, eat olives that are green like basil and not like army pants, and eventually, put everything together into one luxurious meal that you then share, along with truly great conversation, with truly interesting people.

Now, take that scenario I just gave you, remove the 20 hour work week altogether, and make the small, hillside flat in Tuscany a mountain-top Villa in Tivoli (about 35km outside of Rome) once occupied by the poet Horace, 2 Roman Emporers, and 2 Popes, and you have my final 7 days in Italy last month.

It’s unfortunate that I’ve been living an ignorant facade for so many years, but more unfortunate is that now I’ve seen the light, and there’s no going back. The game has been eternally changed. I’ve been unplugged from the Matrix. The hypnosis that made me think I was fishing all day instead of working has worn off. I see my over-worked, mediocre existence for exactly what it is. And my only sliver of a hope worth clinging to anymore is the prospect of returning to my palace on top of the mountain in Tivoli some day, and doing all the exact same things again.

That’s what a vacation is.

Whatever you’ve been doing for two weeks every year, when you pile the family into some sort of vessel that eventually delivers you all to some sort of destination where grown men wear shirts with flowers on them, and eat deep fried seafood that was shipped in last week, frozen, from an inland distributor even though the brother of whatever you’re eating is watching you eat his kin from the GIANT F***ING OCEAN right next to you. That thing. That’s not a vacation!

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