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The Venetian Venus

By , Ashland, MA
The sounds of Italy erupted around me as people walked around content with the day. Then I saw her, and I was content as well. She ambled over the cobblestone road of St. Mark’s Square. The Venetian sun shining perfectly off of her olive-toned skin, the clock tower’s marble lion seemed to be looking down on her with interest. As was I. She stopped by a vender and I examined her as I had done so before. Today she had shimmering silver flats that showed how small and dainty her feet were, her shoes soon gave way to the perfect legs, wrapped in some of the tightest stockings I had ever seen. She also had a frilly flowery pink mini-skirt which, with help from the slippers, extenuated the length of her legs. I always bit my lip from the sight of those legs. Everything lead up to a stunning face with emerald green eyes, that shined like the Murano glass sold behind her, thin pink lips curled into a smile and a small sharp nose, that wrinkled with every laugh and all under long auburn hair that had been combed to the right. A hand slipped down and unzipped her coffee leather jacket so she could put on the silk purple scarf she was buying from the vender. As she pulled out the Euros to pay for the souvenir, the coins slipped out of her hands and spilled out all over the ground. I turned away as she bent over to pick up the currency. Enough! You are not some sick pervert! I looked up at the Lion, his expression seemed gleeful.
I sighed and returned to the coffee that sat cooling in front of me, a perfect swirl of whipped cream in the middle. I had lost my lust for coffee so I my thoughts started to wander; what am I doing here? This is supposed to be a break from love! I was right; my recent condition of heart break had been an excuse for my friends to take me to Venice for two weeks.
“C’mon man! Lots of girls in Italy, we’ll go to Venice and party all night every night! You’re bound to find someone!” I must admit they were right about the partying, but after the first three hangovers I had made it my business to start a routine and see the sites, and considering the guys wouldn’t wake up until about two, they wouldn’t take notice of my absence. My mind began to wander again. She really is beautiful…Shut up sap! Have you forgotten about the last temptress to stomp your heart with five-inch heel? Well that was then and this is now! And…and- And what? Its different this time? Look at her. Now back to you. Now back at her. Do you see my point James?
Feeling self conscience I took inventory of myself. My loafers were black as coal and stuck out on the bluish-grey cobblestones of St. Mark’s Square. I had a nice clean pair of jeans with a olive sweater covering a white t-shirt. In short I didn’t look half bad. What do you mean “Look at her.” I look fine! Oh do you? Yea…
I checked my stock again, I wasn’t fat I was rather trim, my milk-chocolate hair was split down the middle with two arcs leading from the top and flowing past my ears. I had “David’s jaw-bone” as my mother had said, and basil-grey eyes that saw something unexpected. The girl was still there! Except now she was anxiously checking her phone, rapidly tapping her foot to an unknown beat.
Do you think it’s a coincidence? What is? That she walks by every day. At the same time, and does the exact same thing. Why buy a small trinket from a souvenir vender unless she has an ulterior motive? Everyone has an ulterior motive. Even you! You just came to Italy to escape your break up, you’re just a sucker for love, and you know it! Shut up! Shut up! I will not have you stand in my way; I control you, you’re just meant to discourage something stupid! Not bring me down every time an opportunity arises! You want to ask her out so badly? Go ahead. Like you said; “I control you” after all I’m just a figment of your imagination.
I shot out of my seat. I’ll do it! The iron chair screeched as it was pushed back. I was full of courage, nothing could stop me. Then she looked in my direction. I sat back down. Coward. Am I crazy for talking to you? Nope; I’m like the angel and devil on your shoulder’s except I’m logic, and your emotion. So who’s the voice of reason? That’s you again, you decide who you listen to, your heart or your head. But back to the main point; you are a coward. The phrase is; “I came. I saw. I conquered.” You don’t have the balls to conquer this early after a break up. Drink your coffee. Pay for it and let’s go up the bell tower for a view of the city. I sighed; there was no way I could win this argument, because both ways a part of me loses. Whatever, lets go to the museum first. That a boy. I mournfully looked back up for a glimpse for my Venetian Venus. But she had gone. Needless to say I was disappointed.
I dragged myself to my feet and dropped a few euros onto the table. I had let the chance slip through my fingers. Again. Hey, buck up, its probably for the best. You’re a tourist. God knows where she’s from, what if she was Italian? Or English? Or French? Or even Russian? Would you run away with her? No, you have college and debt and a world outside of vacation. This is the logical solution. Yea, I guess. As I walked towards the museum a sudden wind picked up. I stopped and turned around for a look at St. Mark’s Cathedral.
“I came. I saw. I conquered.” I said aloud. “Who could conquer the beauty of Italy? I will return one day, but never as a conquerer, always as a tourist, this city has a godly beauty, and no man shall conquer it. Italy’s beauty is left for the immortal.” Oh bravo Shakespeare. You come up with that yourself? Shut up. I turned around to continue my trek to the museum when I was blinded by a soft cloth. What’s going on? What the hell happened?! Shut up. It’s just trash, stop your panicking Oh right…do you smell that? Yea pineapples and…mango is it? Yea, that’s some really nice perfume. Just take it off you must look like an idiot.
I removed my blindfold and inspected it. It was yellow. It was the yellow scarf my mystery girl had worn. How odd. I thought. I slowly looked up and as I did my heart warmed like the soft whipped cream that had been on my coffee. She was in a ballet pose, right foot in front of the left, as if about to pirouette. Her left hand grasped the right beneath it. She swayed back and forth as if waiting for judgment. Oh…no, no, no, no. Oh yes, yes, yes, yes.
“Buon giorno.” She said
She’s Italian. I was unaware of the stupid grin forming on my face. But she was. She giggled.
“So this is what someone must do to win the attention of an American?”
“After you bella.” I gestured for her to take a walk.
“Naturalmente.” She smiled.
Here we go again. I had stopped caring about logic, it could go take a hike. As I walked the streets of Venice, no map could guide me. I followed my heart.





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