I am trying to be Italian

I am trying to be more Italian.

I am taking siestas.  Or at least going home for lunch, sitting in the sun, and drinking coffee.

I am trying to be Italian.  I am drinking a lot of espresso.  Not doubles like in the United States, where you feel it.  And you feel amazing.  But little single shots, again, and again, and again.

I am trying to be Italian.  I take three hours for lunch.  If class goes over, I get nervous.  If something impedes on my lunch time, I get nervous.

I a trying to be Italian.  I go to Nerbone, for lunch.  The man sitting to my left is alcoholic.  You can tell by his big nose.  Red, swollen.  Like the tomato covered meat I am eating.  We are both alone.

I am trying to be Italian.  I didn’t used to drink wine at lunch.  I wanted to.  When I read about nutrition it gets in the way.  I want to lose weight.  Alcohol gets in the way.  I go to Nerbone for lunch.  I eat tomato covered meat.  When I ask for a glass of wine, they say “brava.”  I think, I am doing well.

I am trying to be Italian.  I go to Nerbone for lunch.  I eat tomato covered meat.  I read the dictionary.  I never feel like my Italian is good enough, even when they call me “fluente.”  I go over words in my head, again, and again.

I am trying to be Italian.  I have fewer things to do, on my to do list.  I do fewer things.  I am practicing the art of doing nothing.  It is very hard.  I get nervous I am not doing enough, even if I have accomplished 15 things that day.

I am trying to be Italian.  I am trying to have loyalty to a certain meat vendor, or fruit vendor, or caffè.  I am trying to go places consistently, on the same day, or time.  Without this, they get very sad, and disappointed in me.

I am trying to be Italian.  I sit in a caffè, and drink my coffee slowly.  I stay longer, much longer, than when I finished.  I always feel guilty and like I shouldn’t be there.

I am trying to be Italian.  Last night I went to bed at midnight.  I felt awful when I woke up, eight hours later.  I am no loner on my circadian rhythm.  It makes me sad.  But

I am trying to be Italian.  I read too much about nutrition.  I am conflicted.  The grain brain, the paleo diet, ketosis… it all makes sense and works for me.   When I try to order prosciutto without bread people get confused and don’t know what to do.  So I give up.  Because

I am trying to be Italian.  I consider getting a cappuccino.  I want to eat pastries for breakfast.  But

I am not Italian.  I am not there yet.  I do not understand, most of what they do, how they think, or how they live their daily lives.  How do they get anything done, and how do they honor and love their work so much?  How do they stay slim in an ocean of carbohydrates?  How do they not get tired, and bored, of doing the same thing, everyday?

I am not Italian.  When I eat a pastry for breakfast, I am not satisfied.  I want more sugar.

I am not Italian.  When I have a coffee, I do not add tablespoons of sugar, or milk.  I like it black.  I like to taste the bitterness, and the black creamy espresso.

I am not Italian.  I do not thinking eating pasta, and grains is healthy.  I believe it is making us sick, emotionally and physically.

I am not Italian.  I love waking up at 6, and going to bed at 9.  Everyone calls me “nonnna” meaning grandmother.

I am not Italian.  I like doing many things, everyday.  I don’t know if I could ever have the patience and dedication to do the same job with the same people for a lifetime.

I am not Italian.  Drinking wine at nighttime affects my sleep.  I wake up tired,  and I have big circles under my eyes like them.  I don’t know if I can do this…

I am not Italian.  Walking is not enough exercise for me.  I like the gym.  Even if it is expensive, and uncommon.

I am not Italian.  I like eating alone.  Maybe because I am like the lonely Italian men, middle aged, and just needing their quiet time.

I am not Italian.  I like to run errands when I don’t have class.  But everything is closed.  I try to have siesta.  But feel guilty, angry, and hopeless.

I am not Italian.  I  do not wear heels, or dress up everyday.  I wear shoes with inserts, and carry a backpack to help my posture.

I am not Italian.  I do not like to argue.

I am not Italian.  I am not sure if I like consistency.

I am not Italian.  I cannot fall asleep in the afternoon.

I am not Italian.  My to do lists are never-ending.

I am not Italian.  I do not smile, as much as they do.

I am not Italian.

I am American.

And I hope, one day, I will understand.

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