It has been with me for two and a half years now, through Rome, Missouri, and
Minnesota. It has lived in two dorm rooms. For some reason, it acts as a security that I will again
visit Italy and have a “Vacanze Romane.”

Audrey Hepburn clinging to Gregory Peck’s back while they zoom through the streets of
Rome on a scooter, her face glancing down and away from the forward future, while his meets it
with a determined, daring sideways smile: I am both. Scared to face the future, looking back,
letting someone else face it first, yet also knowing I might as well let the wind play with my face.

The poster’s glossy finish reflects the light from my plain dorm florescent light fixture.
The indefinite light lines make me wish the picture was real. I know it is just a poster now,
nothing more. But to me, it is real: as real as the Trevi fountain was when I touched its warm
whiteness three years ago.

The Italian words on the poster movie advertisement provide me with a sort of fake
identity, reminding me that someday I will speak Italian, someday find a Gregory Peck.

Silently it speaks of the sights, sounds, smells of Rome. I smell the tobacco, hear the
loud cadences of human talk, feel the hard cobblestones beneath my shoes. I own a piece of
Rome.

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