If I had to estimate how many new people I’ve met since leaving Rome and undertaking a summer as an Italian nomad, I’d cap it off at about 1,000.
Being essentially homeless (the colors ask me, where do you live? And I tell them well; right now I live here, in this convent. They laugh, and say, no, where is home, and then it’s my turn to laugh and reiterate, everything I own in the world is in a twin room upstairs. Literally, home is here) means meeting different folks on the daily. Some of these people I forget, some of them forget me, and some of them I remember forever and ever AMEN because THEY ARE ALL THE AMAZING THINGS.
Strickland and I met earlier this summer, when we were accidentally in a prayer circle together. We danced in a piazza until 4 a.m. and laughed until I snorted gin from out of my nose. It was one of those nights. The nights with the People to Remember.
I’d like him in my tribe, I thought to myself. And then, but I bet I’ll never see him again.
Imagine, then, my surprise when I- for absolutely no reason at all- called my Complicated Friend With All The Cool Music. Hey, you! she said to me down the phone. Guess who I am with RIGHT NOW THIS VERY SECOND. They’d bumped into each other on a mountain in Liguria, and suddenly, plans were able to be made for a lunch.
Internet. After that lunch, Strickland and I went to Switzerland.
(Because that’s a totally normal thing to do with somebody you’ve spent a total of six hours with.)
The emails pretty much went: LET’S MEET UP AGAIN PLEASE (me) which led to I FINISH TEACHING NEXT WEEK AND HAVE TWO WEEKS TO KILL BEFORE I GO HOME, SO SHOW ME HOW TO BE A NOMAD (him), and that became COME TO LOANO AND HAVE DINNER! OR COME WITH ME TO SWITZERLAND! (me) which was kind of a joke until SWITZERLAND SOUNDS NICE. WHAT ARE THE DETAILS (him) and then, OKAY. I BOOKED MY FLIGHT. I’LL SEE YOU AT THE AIRPORT (him).
And that is how I got a new member in my tribe, and a new entrance test for all future applicants: how many emails will it take for you to come to Switzerland with me?
If the answer is any more than five, then you don’t make the cut.