Chapter 6: Sandra

On the 8th of December. Joe got home early. With the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on a Friday, many of the students’ families were leaving town for the long weekend. In a rare miracle for the occasion, the rain had stopped in the morning, though showers were predicted on and off for the weekend.It was the first day since he bought the Vespa that he had not been rained on in both directions. The new poncho he bought worked better than he expected at keeping his clothes dry. He folded the poncho and stashed it in the compartment of the scooter before walking upstairs. Continue reading

Chapter 5: Vespa

Two days later Nancy came home with a break.

“I may have found a lead on a Vespa 50 for ninety thousand lire. Is that good?”

“It’s great, Mom! I still haven’t beaten one-fifty anywhere, and most places are raising prices. It’s really hot this year.”

“I think you only have a choice of light blue or yellow.” Continue reading

Chapter 4: Jack

Unlike many companies, Smithson Italia did not work on Saturday. After sleeping in late, Joe walked to the Cavalieri Hilton Hotel to deposit his money in the night depository slot of the Bank branch. Nancy went with him, to pick up a new umbrella. Having a large luxury hotel right across the street was very convenient. The shops were expensive, but they were open late and on weekends. Continue reading

Chapter 2: The Job

“Oh, Scheiss!” Nancy shouted and slammed her fist on the desk. “They’re making a secretary out of me again.”

Joe heard the commotion in his room and came into his mother’s study. It was the best-furnished room in the apartment, with a large oak desk, a couch and coffee table, and two telephones. An antique engraved print by Piranesi hung on one wall, a view of the Roman Forum. Every horizontal surface was covered with papers. Smoke swirled around the desk lamp. Continue reading

Freelancing on the road: a summary

He was riding his bicycle. That was about the only good thing about the scene right now. The slick, coastal road wound up and around the promontories, so that the wind and rain was as often in his face as blowing him sideways. The cold rain ran off his Arc’teryx rain jacket, soaking his crotch and running down his legs. He pedaled on, one stroke after the other. Continue reading