Tonight I left the Internet café at 10:45 for my hotel which is about a five minute drive away. I got to my hotel at 1:00 AM. Two hours of just driving around totally lost in this God forsaken crazy fucking city.
Mom called tonight while I was lost. About midnight. On my cell phone. Seriously. I’m on a motorcycle miles and miles from my hotel, totally lost at one o’clock in the morning on some desolate street in Rome. And I’m having a fucking nervous breakdown. And my cell phone rings and its my mom calling from America. Thank God for this miracle. This is what I mean by angels or spirits that help us out. “Honey are you sleeping? I just had a feeling I should call you…” “No I’m not sleeping mom.” “wahts wrong with you? You sound upset honey.” “I’m fucking lost. I have no idea where I am and I’ve been driving for two hours.” “Honey why are you always lost? Everytime I talk to you, you are lost. Even in Miami…” “I don’t know. I just don’t like driving. I hate driving. Its so boring. I can’t believe I don’t have someone to drive me around everywhere all the time….” “Well you don’t right now. so you are going to have to discreate this belief of yours that you can’t drive and that you get lost all the time. you can’t go around your whole life getting lost.” “Mom. I know that. fuck. God. I am just so fucking lost. I hate this.” “Well don’t you see any police men you can ask for directions?” “mom this is Rome. Its one o’clock in the morning. There are no police officers. The streets are empty. I’m going to have to sleep in the street here. I’m just going to lie and down and sleep. And get run over in the morning.” “Fishy you’re so dramatic. Now c’mon pick yourself up and go find someone to ask for directions.” “I hate asking people for directions.” “Well you may want to discreate that too. then maybe you wouldn’t be getting lsot so much. Now c’mon, don’t make me worry like this. go find someone to help you and I will stay on the phone…” I was literally on the verge of total panic being lost for almost two hours at that point. When she called I was just sitting on my bike on a corner pissed off, not knowing where I was. I could not find my way home. I was miles and miles from my hotel, even though where I started from was only a few blocks away. and here my mom calls… things like this…. just make you believe….
Rome sucks in this respect. Their streets aren’t marked. Their highways aren’t marked. They seriously don’t have highway or street signs like we do in the states. Every now and then you will see a tiny sign on a the side of a building to tell you what street you are on but not often. You can get to an intersection in this town and look at all four corners and not see one sign to indicate where you are. Half the time I throw my hands up in the air and scream. Can you just give me one fucking sign per intersection?! That would be a good start to join the rest of civilization people. the other thing is the way they have it mapped out here where every street is a one way. so you may want to go five yards ahead of you but you cannot because the street won’t let you. so you have to go around. And then around and then around and on and on. One minute you are driving one direction on a street and the next minute the street has big do not enter signs on it even though you are driving that direction. The street just literally dead ends into another street that is headed in the opposite direction. All of this with almost no stop lights. So you have to turn off the street you are on and turn onto some other street. But of course they don’t have any signs on that street so you don’t know where you just turned onto and then all the streets might be one way for two or three streets in a row so by the time you make the turn you think you need to you could be in an entirely different neighborhood and of course you are totally lost. They have highways that come out of nowhere with no exits for miles. So you get stuck on these highways and you end up all the way across town. Two hours of this. maddening. I felt as though I was going crazy. I have never seen city streets so completely without order or sense or logic. And I’m comparing this city to Sao Paulo or Rio or New York. Much bigger cities. But at least in Sao Paulo the streets make sense. (of course the people there drive worse than any city in the world—so at least give Rome this much—they drive better here) Here it is just tons of curves and twists and turns everywhere. Next time I am just going to drive the wrong way down the one way if I have to. Again, if you are here to be a tourist and walk around just in the historic center and see the sites, it is very romantic and beautiful, and more than that, it is very interesting. After all it is Rome. But if you are here to live and work and drive around like in any other city it is a little confusing at first. I have been assured that I will get used to it. and also advised that most newcomers don’t start out by renting a motorbike their first week. they usually learn the city first. So I know that this is some of my own doing.
All of this could be due to the general stress I am experiencing now. Sometimes I think I am becoming malnourished from living here. I don’t get enough vegetables, that’s for sure. All I eat is pizza and pasta and cheese and tomatoes. I think that’s all they have. A major transition obviously, and often times they are difficult for us—these ‘what now?’ moments. I miss Cleo very much. I have never been on my own before. I have always had girlfriends. I have always had a staff to do everything, at least since my adult years. I am learning so much from being on my own and not being around her or having her call me ten times a day. I hate this actually. I find it very difficult to be without her to advise me what to do about things. I hate being away from her and I hate not having her to ask for advice. Having no girlfriend. No job. Not enough money from my music. When will we ever stop being a local band. If I fucking hear that again I’m going to punch the person in the face and break their nose. We’ve been working so hard for so long. No major record label. No big deal. I figure if you can’t make it on your own you have no business making it anyway. But it’s the no assistant right now that makes me feel totally lost—I just can’t handle it. and no income, barely a band because they are all so busy with a hundred other projects. It is just a complete start over for me. What am I doing riding around Europe on a motorbike attending a school every day to learn Italian? seriously what the fuck am I doing? Who the hell knows. Welcome to my world. Actually I think it is good. I think it helps me get much needed separation from Cleo and my house and the business and the staff and everything I had going there. I was floundering.