I wake to the smell of baking bread. The scent tickles my nose as it is carried on the breeze through the open window.
My room above Marcos is café, although not mine for very long it has In a few short months felt it into a home to me, a childhood friend perhaps.
As I open my eyes, squinting in the morning sun, I look outside the window on the opposite wall and see the blue sky warm and welcoming in the late Italian spring.
I reach across my small bed, to the nightstand and grab from its spot, my fathers watch and read 9:08.
I guess its not his watch anymore him having passed it on to me shortly before his death four months ago. I think it’ll always be his watch no matter how long I carry it.
I left Canada shortly after he passed. I lived too much of my life for him. This I realized after.
I loved and cared for him as much as any son should in those last two years of his life but I feel I lost a part of myself.
After my mom left us when I was six, my father was often the only one I could count on.
Into my adulthood I was a solitary man, keeping few friends and keeping few of them close enough to matter.
I guess that’s how in those last two years it was easy for me to forget about the outside world and just focus on my task.
My father moved in at my insistence and not long after that my life fell into a routine of work and my dad.
I was happy for it though, am still happy for it because it meant that I could give back to the man who spent so many years of his life in dedication to mine.
After all was said and done, id realized I did not have much. My office job provided a comfortable life.
I had plenty of things, oh yes, but things are just things and do not add much to the sum of a person’s life.
Thus, began my journey to rediscover myself and get to know the person I had become. I packed my bags and ran away to the town of San Gimignano, Italy.
I knew a bit about the town through research but when I actually walked through its tiled streets, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
I stayed at an inn near the east side of town for about a week and a half before finding Marco and his café.
I met him in a bar one cool night. Our conversation flowed quickly and easily that night, though I remember thinking with startling surety that it wasn’t because of the alcohol.
I had found a real friend that night, my first in the city. After lunch at his restaurant the next day, and him showing me the local’s way around town, he offered the spare room above his café.
I pride myself on not being needy but I got the sense that he was very intuitive and could easily see through my ruse of security in this new town.
I stand up from my bed and shake as I stretch the sleep out of my muscles. As I walk towards the open window, wind rustling the curtains, I can hear the faint noise of birds chirping.
There aren’t any people outside yet walking the paved streets but I can see a few already sipping morning coffees, and eating pastries while reading the days newspaper.
I should call Sofia and ask her if she wants to go out for lunch tomorrow.
For today though, I plan on biking to the country side to find some of that special quiet you can only seem to find in nature.
Ill continue the book I’m writing, probably by that pond where the fish don’t have a fear of people and swim up to you if you are still.
I close my eyes against the morning sun and breathe in the fresh air. Finally, I open my eyes and close the window leaving it only slightly ajar. I have a feeling its going to be a good day.