Emily Rath

Just passing the time. Naked.

Is that the feeling of hunger or pain?

five minutes pass and I’m already insane

from calves flexed and knees akwardly bent

has it really only been ten minutes I’ve spent?

with aching shoulders and muscles sore

is there honestly two hours more?

of twisting arms and neck strained

every poor muscle, tighter and pained

all weight on a foot and this dead tingly hand

body and mind heavier, the longer I stand

screaming silently in an unmoving head

tummy now growling and hand fully dead

hurting and impatient, how much more can I take?

thoughts swimming shallow when Tim finally says break

a few tiny minutes for my body to restore

but I must stand here naked

for an hour and a half more…


Below is another poem I wrote in my head while modeling.  Three hours in silent unmoving nudity is a long time to think about anything, really.

Yesterday was my last day in that painful pose.  I did 4 weeks/20 days/40 hours/2,400 minutes that same position.  My body started to adjust to the discomfort and I formed the perfect knots and twists in my back so I could stand there comfortably.  Now I need to use my hard earned work money to get a massage, although every time I mention needing a meseus to anyone the men at the bar I work at say “ah, io posso farlo!”  (I can do it).

Heather comes next week and Anne leaves.  It’s weird with all these people coming and going, and Kyle and I are just… here.  It is never really enough time to feel lonely because there is always someone new living with us or visiting, but it is just not the same as having a group of friends.

On a lighter note, I am almost done with Wicked!  I’ve been reading about that wicked witch so much I’ve had dreams about it, which is fun.  Five weeks left and then I go home. Home.

A change in scenery

There’s nothing like modeling nude to make you lose weight.  Modeling naked is one of the most interesting and physically challenging things I’ve ever done.  Everyday I take of my red towel, step up onto the platform which is lit by soft light, and stand in an elegant yet insanely painful pose for twenty minutes at a time for a total of three hours.  I spend my five minute breaks reviving my limbs by small amounts of stretching.  Today I literally took one minute naps during my breaks, actually fell asleep, and was dreaming.  I have had no sleep these past two weeks due to either 1) depression 2) working over forty hours a week 3) mosquitoes 4) going out and actually having fun (rarely).  Those poor British students have probably had such a challenge painting my body.  The first week I was red as a lobster from my sunburn.  It hurt to shower, to move… it hurt my eyes to look at myself naked!  I can’t imagine how they felt whilst painting me.  The second week my skin was peeling so I felt like a snake.  They said it didn’t bother them and they carried on.  It’s now week three and I am no longer red, I’ve lost three pounds, and gradually their paintings have made me whiter and more slim.  It’s quite funny.  The thing is though I have about fourteen or so different viewpoints of my body from-almost-every-single-angle so if I see something I don’t like about my body not just in one person’s painting but in several I know that is how I am.  It is a wake up call as to what you look like from every single angle.  But at the same time, they are paintings which are perhaps not accurate.  One of the Scottish boys said it’s like having a mirror at every angle but really fucked up mirrors that lie.  So basically I am surrounded by a huge mirror that sometimes is forgiving and shows my skin in beautiful rich creamy tones but other times makes my ass look humongous and my face look angry.

So the thing that was missing in my life before was fun and excitement and I stumbled upon it this month.  The other night I was crazy and decided to go out after I finished working at the pub at 2 AM.  I met up with some of the British students at a cool outside lounge, drank negronis (I can’t decide if I love them or hate them), and then we proceeded to walk to the cool bar, Monte Carla, at 4 AM.  This is what you do in Florence.  We changed our mind after walking twenty-five minutes and ended up at the Ponte Vecchio, the famous bridge in Florence by the Arno.  It was amazing at that hour.  Florence wasn’t full of tourists.  There weren’t motorinos zooming from every angle.  Or screaming ambulances.  It was empty.  The sun was rising and instead of the mucky brown and green color the Arno usually wears, it was covered in blues and purples and oranges.  So I think my favorite time in Florence is around 5 AM.  I then was pushed back home in  a shopping cart by a Scottish boy dressed in a 60’s costume and a big black afro.  After my very fun night and morning, I stumbled around the next day, running errands for hours.

I went to the exhibit at the Alinari Museum of an Italian photographer from the 50’s and 60’s and it evoked all the emotions photography gives me.  I started to cry from the simplest photographs and the entire time all I was completely in awe the entire time.  After that, I saw a cute little pub that looked inviting.  Curiosity brought me to the front door, and then the menu, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the cheapest hamburger I’ve seen yet in Florence… 4.50 Euro.  I was ecstatic to spend an hour in between errands being the biggest American ever.  I had my first burger in NINE MONTHS and it was AMAZING.  I ordered the Americano burger (haha), had a pint of beer called Dragoon (isn’t that name awesome?), and the beer was 10% so it gave a sparkle to my eyes for the next hour as I walked home. Then I worked at the pub as the England vs. America world cup game played and I served tons and tons of beer to fellow Americans, who, for the first time, I missed.

Anyways, I have watched almost every game of the world cup.  Watching the Italian game surrounded by Italians was another highlight of my week.  All of the knots in my back, the clicks, pain, and lack of sleep, are some huge lowlights.  Does that make sense?  Lowlights.  Shouldn’t it be highlights of the day and lowdarks?  The 150 euros I get tomorrow for modeling nude is a highlight.  The fact that I get to see my family in July is a huge highlight (!!!), and the beautiful ipod I got from my lovely mom is another highlight.  I miss home so much, but I’m finally starting to like it here more.


Alright.  I think I am on my way to enlightenment.  I am getting rid of all of my attachments, unintentionally.  I’ve sold my car back in America.  I am away from all of my American friends, my family, my country… I am finished with school.  I am growing new skin (I was terribly burnt, peeled like a snake, and am now regenerating).  I am literally completely nude without any clothing or makeup everyday from 1:00-4:00 in front of fourteen British students.  And last but not least the other attachment I had è andato via.  But I think it is a blessing in disguise, and maybe it’s not even disguised.  I want something else and in fact was wanting something else. Let’s just say that there are plenty of fish in the sea, and I’m excited to go fishing.  But maybe I don’t even like fish anymore.  What if I like beef?  There are plenty of cows in the… fields?  Who decided that phrase had to be “fish?”  I don’t wanna go fishing actually.  You know when you go fishing and you choose a shiny object to put on the end of your line?  Let’s say you put on a bright red feather with that orange squishy bait that smells so good.  You cast it in the water, and all the fish stare in wonder at the shiny bait, dancing, taunting, shimmering, swimming… then they bite. That’s how my fishing experience is going to be.  No longer will I fish, but I will be bait.  But in reality, I don’t fish that often anyways.

Book of Emily Rath, Chapter 24

I had a great birthday until the end of the night.  Once again, my birthday left me broken-hearted and nostalgic for when birthdays weren’t so depressing.  Once again, I had a horrible birthday.

It’s okay though.  It’s a sunny day, it’s a Friday, it’s a completely new chapter in my life, and be prepared for me to go crazy.  Maybe I’ll go join a convent and become a nun. Maybe I’ll go jump into the Arno and drown.  Maybe I’ll go out tonight and talk to every single Italian man I see.  Maybe, just maybe, I won’t go crazy…

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.”

-Winston Churchill

Sunday at the beach with Claudio and Mark.  Before sunburn.  After a beer.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Isola del Giglio

Isn’t it odd?  On this day, seven years ago, I was in Italy on a field trip to Isola del Giglio. The island is one of the seven that forms the Tuscan Archipelago off of the Tuscan coast.   In the summer it’s a aquamarine tourist attraction but in the middle of March it’s an almost-deserted commune with pastel buildings and sad weather.  Being twenty-three years old artists, my two male roommates and I had to get in the water just to say we did, but that meant stripping down to our underwear in front of each other and our painting teacher, Lorenzo.  Mark is a gentle artist, disarming in his bare chest despite the Blackbeard tattoos.  Great guy.  I’d never seen my two roommates more bonded than the moment they were standing hand in hand in boxers, preparing mentally to jump in.  We freed ourselves of academic worries in the  twenty minutes we spent in the water with goosebumps and half naked just grateful to be in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea, even if it was bloody freezing.


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