Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 @ 6:55 pm
I woke up with a fever. Took drugs: T3 and sudafed.
Then it was out into the pressing heat, heat so hot that sweat drips down your back and shins. We walk across the city to the Metro station and down underground we go. Humidity peaks. The train cars are covered in grafitti. All over the windows of the cars, spray painted tags blur by and my head spins even more. Gypsy women with barefoot children beg at every pillar.
Up into the sun again, past hawkers and beggers. The cobblestones wobble beneath my feet and I stumble into Sarah. She steadies me.
We are in the Vatican and the ceiling makes my stomach lurch. The crosses and naked babies and broken penises whirl around in my head like a kaliedescope.
At the House of the Vestal Virgins the virus seems to sweat out of my pores. Everyone crowds in close as I read from the guidebook about the Eternal Flame.
And then later we are licking gelati outside the Pantheon. Lemon gelati. And drinking straight from the fountains, cool water, who's drank from this fountain before? The cool in my mouth brings me back to life. The dread leaves me and then Rome is interesting.
My heart is still skinny dipping in Cinque Terre, but now all my energy is being put towards a toga pub crawl tonight. Travel sick or Rome sick, not sure, but I think it could have just been big city dread.