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Eurotrash will fully blame the new song she’s quickly becoming absolutely enamoured with since Saturday, Deadmau5 featuring Kaskade – I Remember, for the recent memories of summertime that keep playing in her mind. Usually a fashion blog of sorts, sometimes eurotrash uses this space to indulge in the little tangents she feels are worthy enough to write about. Well, this is one of those posts.
Last summer, eurotrash spent 9 weeks in Italy, the last two of which she spent with her mum’s family in the mountains an hour or so south of Rome. There’s one day in particular that she often regards as a day in which lots of things became definitive for her. On this particular day, her great-aunt shook her out of bed at 5am (little did dearest zia know, she had only gotten home a few hours prior to the wake-up call) to catch a bus down in the piazza leaving for the distant beach town, Gaeta. For some reason, my family in Italy thinks I’m obsessed with the beach and claim they plan such day trips solely to please me. Personally, I would’ve rather spent the rest of the morning in bed. Not to mention I had spent the past 7 weeks in a beach town on the amalfi coast! By this time around it was already the middle of September and the crisp morning air suggested everything but sun and sand. However, so as not to displease my hosts, I somehow managed to get my sorry ass onto that bus, short of puking a few times along the way.
I will probably never regret my unwavering valour that morning because what awaited me was one of the most surreal days of my life, or at least, of that summer. The beach was particularly beautiful in the 7am sunlight. Of course in the preceding 2 months I spent in amalfi, god knows, I never saw the beach before noon! Needless to say, I had a full morning ahead of me to enjoy the sunshine, the fresh breeze and a concatenation of espressos. My aunt and cousin let me be, only sporadicly waking me to take a walk or help them decide which bracelet they should buy from the tenacious marocchini, eager to sellout their products before the season’s encroaching end.
We lunched on the beach as the autumn winds added a pinch of sand to every bite, but I didn’t mind because I was in a state of intense existential pondering – what is sand, anyway? The part I remember most, and what I think of when I listen to this song, occurred towards the day’s end. I mean, the whole day I refused to go in the water, which is so unlike me, but I dreaded the promise of goosebumps in that cool autumn air. In the late afternoon though, I found myself walking along the beach with my iPod, listening to all of my favourite songs from the summer and decided that I needed, absolutely had to, go swimming. I ran back to our umbrella and my aunt called after me as I plunged into the water, something about me being una scema, or una pazza, but I didn’t care. It was 5pm and I had the whole ocean to myself.
The water was surprisingly warm, the waves were calm but constant, and I swam as far as I could. Floating along I realized that having a certain attitude about life could make the smallest, most insignificant of things, quite grand. I sort of lost that perspective along the way, getting caught up in the he said she said, my visa bills, and general ennui. That last swim was my Palomar moment. In Calvino’s book he writes a few short stories entitled “Palomar on the beach”, in which Palomar, the main philosophical character, spends his time pondering the waves in the ocean, a topless sunbather, and a ray of sun. I would share some of my favourite passages here, but for fear of being deemed an even bigger nerd than this reference indicates, I will keep them private. For those interested, it’s worth reading the stories yourselves to discover the nuances of Calvino’s thought when it comes to the simplest of things.
Perhaps that’s what being eurotrash is all about: taking the the time to look at things anew and deciding whether a wave ends at the shore or if, in reality, it starts at the shore and departs backwards towards the deep blue sea.