Okay, enough of that. I'm not even sure if what I wrote makes complete sense, but none of y'all would know any different anyway. Here's the list of stuff that's happened to me since I arrived in Italy two days ago:
1. "Sei fidanzata?" I'm on the train from Rome to Arezzo, where I'm staying. Two ladie sit in the seats facing mine, as I was finishing up some last minute translating. I'm not scared to ask for help translating, especially because it's a very easy way to break the ice with Italians, who can be somewhat formal and distant if you're a stranger to them. Throw some Conditional mood at them and ask for their opinion, and you're in like Turin.
So these two ladies happened to be teachers of the Italian language, which meant we got to shooting the shit and next thing you know, one of them asks me,
"Are you engaged/wife-ied?"
Nightmares of being kidnapped and held hostage in the basement of a Tuscan farmhouse danced in my head, but I escaped the train without matrimonial incident, luckily.
2. I've had good food wherever I go. Not always amazing food, but always very good, and that's more than most places can say. They are really serious abiut food here: pride is taken in the quality of whatever product you're using, and the less done to it, the better. Tuscan food is veru much this way, compared with the food of Emilia Romagna which is apparently amazing, but more complicated. (Another big thing in this part of Italy is wine, and tonight I had my first glass and it was bangin. Not a bad way to spend fifteen bucks.)
3. Sunstroke/death: The thing about Italy is that nothing happens precisely as you plan it, and from the outset of any trip here, accepting that will make your life easier. Even the Americans running the program here take a more lackadaisical Italian attitude- I'm not sure if being here gives them permission to be unorganized, or if their dependence on Italians leads to disorganization by default.
Anyway, I was told that a representative from the program would meet everyone arriving at the train station, and get us to our lodgings.Perfect, because after travling over the ocean on a sleepless flight in a tight seat, I couldn't imagine dealing with luggage in a new city and a sweaty ass.
Of course, the guide was never there. Instead, I walked around the hilly city in the brash Italian sun, dodging the antiquing crowds, going to various program offices trying to locate anyone with information- all to no avail. I was sweating like crazy, heart pounding a mile a minute, feeling like Beyonce after doing a three hour show in Dereon heels. After a couple or three hours of no luck, I finally found my new landlord, who thought it would be great to make me roll my seventy pounds of luggage up the hill to his house which is perched at the top. Suffice it to say, I was scared that my first day in Italy was about to be my last on earth- apparently my body doesn't do well without oxygen. Weird, right?
Anyway- I'm glad I pulled on through, because this house is cool as far as Italian lodgings are concerned. Hundreds of years old, no neighbors, on top of a hill, with thick stone walls that would make A/C redundant.
4. I sang my first audition in the longest time yesterday, and boy was it quite the event. While this program is a college pay-to-sing, there were a few people in that room who have some pull, and there are also a few really kick ass singers in the program as well. The audition went well, thank Il Signore. Today was my first lesson and coaching, both of which were awesome and reaffirming. In fact, during my coaching, I was given a Come to Jesus speech, but in the most positive of senses.
It's still hard to know what to make of this: just a week ago I was working a regular job with benefits and the happiness of a constistent check, and a week later I'm being told that people want to help get me back on track in the opera world because they believe in me.
And yes...I'm believing again, too, but that still doesn't fully answer whether or not I'm willing to give all it takes.
In the meantime, I'm soaking up these musical experiences like so many gelati, and really figuring out how to sing and be in the moment without expectation of what might or could happen outside of making a nice sound.
That plus Italy makes me a happy boy.