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Wednesday 21 June 00

— and my fourth stay in Italy is starting, at about 1:45 P.M. in a hot plane, slightly late already, at Midway airport. Plane made hotter by my wearing a sweater and suit trou, and marsupio: anything to cram as much stuff into my luggage and still carry it on and off without checking it. Incredibly I'll be living out of that one suitcase for 3 months!

No skates or computer this time, eliminating much aggravation: the three stays with computer all turned out to be a bust (once quite literally), by forgoing skating in Marino I can avoid lugging around heavy bags, wasting lotsa time in Termini and in the rail hut at S. Maria delle Mole, not to mention the cost of the skating and the late-night returns. I'll still be lugging stuff up a hill in the evening (somewhat farther than at Spello if my memory is right), but earlier and maybe less heavy — having exchanged my skates for a tripod.

Withal, one of my least planned and latest arranged trips: had to run around the Loop yesterday to get a draft in lire as a down payment for Ms. Guerrieri, and still have to transfer cash from Merrill Lynch to Harris at an ATM in Detroit; first little surprise of the trip, although there are cash stations at Midway, not one of them accepts deposits, only withdrawals.

Woke up this morning at around my usual time, maybe 4:30 — yesterday (as of 18h on Sunday I think), I'd been offline for several hours, got to do something about 21st Century when I get back, I've been offlined due to their problems for an average 3% of the time, not counting the full week I was off due to something going wrong with their modem here and their not being able to schedule replacement for days — Anyway, yesterday evening there was a thunderstorm warning so I'd shut down and disconnected the modem, and sure enough this morning forgot to reconnect it, so used am I to being offline; James caught it when he got up, but then I forgot to upload the few last pages of Umbria (mostly the smallest comuni in Terni province) — anyhow it doesn't matter much, noone goes to my Umbria site anyway — but another sign of just how scattered I've been these last weeks.

Don't in fact feel very good, worried about money, quite depressed some fundamental level about something, wondering what the hell I'm doing spending my dwindling cash going off to Italy with no clear program in sight. Past the point of actually believe something good will happen, yet — nasty vice, hope — hoping it might. James on the other hand who pushed me to go for weeks, though he denies it now, thought it would make me feel better, was fearing I'd slither down the tubes altogether. He told me that once I'd decided to go, I was much better for a while but now he's less sure. Anyway, I daresay he's right about this as he is about everything else; plus I know that once I start getting some miles of countryside under my feet I'll be much better: that never fails. I'm looking forward this time to doing more walking than in '97 and '98: the two ends of the Flaminia for sure, the Valnerina; the inner Colli Martani, and almost certainly the Marche near Fossato at least.

(We've been in the air for some time now — rather clear days — surprising how many people in Chicago have swimming pools; cabin cooler: have just discovered that I forgot — in addition to a tie — my invariable scarf for the plane, although I have a handkerchief to put over my nose and mouth for the transatlantic part of the flight. Wonder if I can find a scarf in Detroit airport.)


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Page updated: 22 Sep 00