I'm writing this from my apartment instead of at the CAFE OF FORCE-FEEDING where I normally hang out every morning. This is, for me, a hugely exciting conclusion to THE BESTEST FOUR DAYS! IN THE HISTORY OF BESTEST FOUR DAYS!
Dramatic hyperbole is my middle name.
I'm clinging on to the final moments of these amazing hundred hours by refusing to leave my house, because 1. I can't afford three breakfasts a day. And 2. My landlady is away.
Because I am home alone I am taking enormous creative satisfaction in walking around in my silk nightdress, wearing a headscarf, and listening to French jazz really quite loudly whilst pretending that this haven of gorgeousness is my own. Living with an actress these past three months I've learnt that to have a romantic, creative, bohemian life you have to execute even the small things every day with a romantic, creative, bohemian touch, and so in the main that means that I now do an awful lot of things with fabric tied around my ears and not wearing much.
It will come as oh, I don't know, absolutely no surprise at all, for you to learn that THE BESTEST FOUR DAYS! have been defined by food. So. Much. Good. Food. Also: as I write this I am eating a cold oven-baked rice ball and I'm not even sorry.
It started Thursday night with aperitivo to celebrate the birthday of one of my best Roman girlfriends. Aperitivo is one of the smartest things Italians have going for them: It is drinks and snacks at happy hour. EXCEPT THAT IS ISN'T because the drink is normally Spritz Aperol, a prosecco-based cocktail of orangey-heaven, and the food isn't crisps and peanuts it's dinner. And the place we went? Well. My friend's boyfriend openly stared at me eating my third plate of chickpea and bruschetta, spiced polenta in tomato sauce, and cinnamon apple slices, before he finally got all, IT'S LIKE WATCHING A DAVID ATTENBOROUGH DOCUMENTARY and I was all, LKjhgdf;oQGFWEFG SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD, and he was like, DO YOU ALWAYS EAT LIKE THIS? And so I got all, UH-HUH, WHEN IT IS THIS FUCKING DECADENT and then I added, FOOD, SLEEP AND SEX. THAT'S ALL I AM BOTHERED ABOUT. And he just shrugged and said, YEAH. THIS IS MY SURPRISED FACE.
Friday saw two friends and I accidentally dropping a hundred euro on dinner because the waiter called me out for being a fat bitch right as soon as we walked through the door. He suggested we start with a mixed antipasti and of course I was all, "YUP!" and then he laughed as I squealed in delight over the grilled aubergine and butter beans and spelt and foccaccia and then I saw someone with carciofi alla giuda which is essentially a lightly fried artichoke and from there it was a downhill slide of Salmon and Mozzerella Calzone and Tiramisu and limoncello and awesomeness.
And I lay in bed Friday night thinking to myself how I hate spending money I don't have, but GODDAMIT I'll spend my last dime on a great meal, I remembered that I was to partake in continued birthday celebrations for my friend the following evening and so the quicker I went to sleep the quicker the next meal would come.
It's the anticipation with great food, almost as much as it is the actual eating.
I said almost.
So Saturday night I wore an all-in-one black romper suit to dinner because my belly had expanded three-fold over the previous 48 hours. And I did it again. Ate, and ate, and ate. Bruschetta and fried zucchini flower and grilled fish and GORGONZOLA GNOCCHI. At one point, I had a little sauce collected in the side of my dish, ready for some soft brown bread to come along and mop it up, and as I paused to say something to the guy sat next to me I felt a tug on my opposite arm. "The boys just dared me to sweep up the last of your cheese sauce," The Birthday Girl whispered to me. The men immediately opposite her looked at my outraged face and laughed hard. "I told them if I did that, birthday or no you'd probably actually kill me." URM. YES. Death, in fact, would not be punishment enough for stealing the best Gorgonzola sauce I've ever tasted in the history of tasting things and oh WHY ARE THERE NO ADJECTIVES TO DESCRIBE THE TASTINGS?
By Sunday it was lunch in the country at the family ESTATE of the birthday girl who, it would seem, is the only person on the planet to have more than one day of birthday celebrations. Off we went to spend SEVEN HOURS. SEVEN! eating the best Sicilian cuisine Rome had to offer: eggplant Parmesan, spaghetti, rice balls, honied sweets and SOMEBODY HAD FOUND RED VELVET CUPCAKES.
I might not know much Italian but every single person around that table knew what I was trying to say when that hit my lips.
I passed out in front of the fire, four days of indulgance growing in my stomach, smiling at the Birthday Girl as she walked through the sitting room. When she returned, she had a tub of Hagan Daaz.
"How is that even possible?" I asked her. "I am the original Fat Bitch and after all that, it makes me nauseous just to watch you stick a spoon in there. I've never been out-fooded."
My friend just shrugged, and do you know what she said? "I've never NOT out-fooded somebody."
And that is the day I learned that no matter how fat-bitch a girl thinks she is, there is always somebody else out there who is fatter and bitchier. And that is why it was the bestest four days- I now have something to aspire to.