The Scenic Route: Day 18

Turn Around, Bright Eyes 

IMG 0498

I need to remember, when things get dark and anxious and confusing, just watch the video for Total Eclipse of the Heart. Pull it up on Youtube or Vevo or whatever and revel in the ludicrous absurdity. 

When I watch it again after a long time, I remember how silly and utterly magnificent it is. 

Just when you think it’s all going well, like a surreal Hogwarts soft-core dream, there are ninjas.


Such is life. You may not get lethal weapons of whoop-ass coming out of the shadows in the form of ancient martial artists, but life has many metaphoric ninjas.

Sickness, trauma, tragedy, loss, can all happen seemingly out of the shadows. But sometimes, unexpectedly wonderful things emerge.

In 1996, I traveled with my Mom and Dad to Trevi, Italy for 2 weeks. It was probably the best trip of my life. Dad promised me a trip if I graduated, and even though I took a few extra years, I did graduate. 

Trevi was a tiny village atop a hillside. There was only one restaurant and we ate there most nights. The mother cooked, the father tended bar, and the handsome son Marco was head waiter. We were about the same age. Black truffles were in season and they made a bruschetta with minced black truffles and olive oil that was pure heaven. 

One night Marco took me, on the back of his motorcycle, to Spoleto because there was no pub in Trevi. We of course had to stop of at his house so he could put on his leather pants before we went. I waited on the bike.

After a nerve-wracking ride on the back of his motorcycle, at speeds I don’t want to even contemplate, we arrived at the Mr. Hyde Pub. The first song I heard playing when we got in was, Total Eclipse of the Heart. I was like, I know this song. 

I met all his friends, and despite a slight language barrier, had many long, comical conversations. Expessive faces and alcohol can bridge many divides.

I felt accepted among strangers and empowered to live more adventurously. 

Was I terrified? Hell, yes!! 

But I hung onto Marco’s slim, fit waist and tried not to freak out as we swerved and sped to the next town. 

Nothing happened between me and Marco, except a few letters, but there was some real, although unspoken, electricity.

Sometimes, despite possibility of metaphoric Ninjas, that might sabotage your state of mind, you just need to hop on the back of “Marco’s bike” and hold on.

© 2014