Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Where the Home Is

People ask me...and ask me often I might add...if I have a home.

An editor for a magazine I work for referred to me in a nice way as a vagabond, and a fellow author posted in Facebook just the other day , "Does Vince even have a home?" My sig other got a little frustrated with me about month or so ago when she shook her head saying, "I feel like I'm living with a nomad."

I assure you I'm neither a vagabond, nor a nomad, and I do have a home, even if the home I live in is not my own. This goes for both my studio and said sig other's place of residence. I will admit, having been on the road for months and months over the past five years has begun to make me feel like I don't have one place in the world that I can call my own, so much as places I can return to, to sleep, to wash my clothes, and to be cared for by others while I care for them. But always in the back and fore of my mind are thoughts and dreams of where I might escape to next.

Italy has been a great place to escape to. Florence in particular. It's a good place to write and a good place to think. Its cobblestones seem to resonate with the inspiration that so motivated DaVinci, Machiavelli, Dante, and yeah, Zandri. I wrote Blue Moonlight here which takes place in part in Florence. There isn't a time I don't walk past the Duomo in Piazza Dell Duomo and picture Dick Moonlight being chased by two Russian mobsters on top of the dome, a la Alfred Hitchock. For me, this is more than a place for escape, it is romance and intrigue. A place where, in the fall as the rains come and darkness settles in early, men don their leather coats, scarves and black watch caps, while the women put on their black leggings, short wool skirts, and tall black leather boots. 

Other places have been good for escape and writing. Paris is one of them. I even wrote well in Cairo, but always there was this sense that the barrel of an AK was staring me down. There is West Africa, and Moscow, and Athens, and even Lima. I've written in many places, but none of them I refer to as home. I will always consider them escapes regardless of the reason I go there.

In January I will return the US and my day will be the same as it is here in Florence. The only difference will be that at the beginning and end of the working day I won't hear the bells ringing from the Cathedral, nor will I make out the click-clack of the women's high heels pacing past my open French windows, nor will the street lamps shine down on the damp glazed stone in a way you never get sick of looking at. The voices will not speak Italian and the smells of olive oil and garlic cooking will not fill my head and make my mouth water. But when I look up on a clear night and see the same moon that we all see the world over wherever we lay our heads, I will know that I am never far from anywhere I call home.

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