I woke up the next morning, on my couch, still in my clothes, still waiting for an emotional collapse that hadn’t come. I expect it’s because I hadn’t said the words aloud yet. I had a few missed calls from my parents, I didn’t call back.
While two more years of life could be ok, I didn’t want to spend them watching Sex & the City, eating pizza and McDonalds and trying to decide how to tell people about this new development in my body – and by new I mean, a rotting that had gone undetected for long enough for it to spread everywhere.
I went online, applied for several credit cards. It’s miraculous how quickly they’ll approve anybody who requests one, and how they ship them immediately so that you have them the next day. I spent this day doing life as usual, got up, went to work, did that for eight hours, came back home, ate some dinner, went to the gym, came home again, went to bed.
The next day the credit cards arrived and I immediately set to maxing them out. The first one covered airfare to Rome. The next one covered indefinite stay at an AirBnB. The next three, I would take with me to live on.
And then I packed a small bag, got on the bus to the train to the airport, went through security, sat at the gate, boarded, flew, walked off the plane at Leonardo Da Vinci airport in Rome, took the train to the Monti neighborhood, and started my new abbreviated life!
The neighborhood is pretty cool – some might say quirky – as it hosts most of the creatives living in the city. There’s not much of a nightlife but the vibe is one of acceptance and community. I picked this area mostly because when I googled “Boho Rome” it was the first hit and I rapidly found an AirBnB longterm rental that my new credit card limit could afford.
I went to the small restaurant downstairs, ordered myself a ricotta with truffle honey, a meatball red sauce dish, and a carafe of red table wine. They were playing soft piano music while the evening’s performer plucked away at his mandolin. I was the only person in the restaurant and had I spoken Italian, I likely would have noticed that the restaurant wasn’t – by definition – open yet. But because they knew I was their new upstairs neighbor and because I looked pretty tired (from travelling AND from cancer) they obliged me!
I posted nothing on Facebook besides a change in my “Lives in….” section.