Today I’m waging a silent war against a blank page and an enemy expression that has yet to reveal itself. It is Saturday and, gratefully, the office is quiet. Most of the theatre troupe that makes this newspaper have all trooped home to their weekend stage-plays. The death of my home computer has compelled me to stay here to write Italian Voices in hard-earned silence. But, despite logistic difficulties, I’m feeling optimistic; Santo Spirito is always a good corner for creating things.
As I sit in front of my computer, Elleci stands at the foot of his half finished canvas. He has been painting a portrait since early morn-ing. By the sound his brush behind me, he is busy winning his own silent war against Sofia Loren’s face. Or maybe it is love, not war, that he is battling against on his side of the room.
At half past twelve, we stop our weekend artistic endeavours and walk to Lola’s for lunch, along with the rest of the neighbourhood rabble. She’s serving up braciole fritte with fried potatoes and artichoke hearts, as if she’d coined the phrase ‘comfort food.’ Fried steak is what she makes for us mother-less cubs every weekend to celebrate the coming of Sunday.