The scene is nicely set in the small town of Pietrasanta, on a forever sunny strip of riviera in Tuscany.
It is where I am from and where I like to spend a few, sweltering hot weeks over the summer, just enough to get so sick of good weather and enjoy the chilly fall in London. Life there is collated together by a repetitive routine that now, looking back at it, is as intoxicating as the litres of alcohol that came with it, complimentarily.
What follows is, more or less, a truthful reconstruction of such routine: A constant memento to bring with you over the cold and bleak months of winter.
Our table is too small. I’d love to leave my Louis Vuitton clutch on it, but there are no physical scraps of surface that are not covered with olives and drinks. In here, we all drink ‘spritz’ (which is prosecco and Aperol with a slice of orange not lime, not lemon, only orange) and the orange of what fills the glass matches quietly with the bright colour of the sky at this time of the day, 8pm.
Willow Hendricks is sitting next to me. She is wearing a black cotton t-shirt neatly tucked into an oversized A-line black skirt by Dries Van Noten. Her fair complexion seems to struggle with the harsh sun-beams that has been thrown upon her in the past week, ever so slightly colouring her cheeks with burgundy.
Next to her is Thomas Schneider, who is comfortably slouching in a white t-shirt and a pair of wide Comme Des Garcons shorts. Alessandra Visconti, who is now furiously texting, is wearing a Red Valentino dress in black organza. I am wearing nothing but Prada, and this is how it should be.
The four of us look utterly exhausted. After a day on the beach we patiently waited for the sun to dim, and let us drift silently into the main square of the town at a time where hundreds of other desperate, worn out souls decided to do the same. Every bar is full and so are everyone’s glasses. Spritz per tutti.
After just a month of summer, the weather seem to have won us over again. Willow Hendricks is the first to break the silence: “The sun is nice”.
Poor Willow Hendricks, at least she tried. Alessandra Visconti flicks her long chestnut mane on the left and slowly raises her eyebrows: “No no no, the sun is a pile of shit” after a brief pause, she continues “Good old times when half six was considered a good time to be seen out for the aperitivo, now everything seems to take so long”.
She’s right: There’s this gallery that tried to have an opening at 7pm. When I say this, Alessandra’s face fills with disgust: “I am NOT going to let people see me at 7. It’s hot, it’s too hot. You get all dressed in your favourite Marni and, pum, two seconds after you’re fighting with the sweat patches under your armpits. Hell no, no one is going to see me before 8. Hell no.”
Thomas Schneider, not listening to the conversation says that there’s a party tonight.
And then goes back into silence, playing ferociously with his phone.We sits in placid silence, watching the crowd gathering at every corner, as there are just not enough tables or bars to accommodate everyone’s thirst: I make silent connections between Dante’s Inferno and resort living.
Willow Hendricks tries again to get the conversation started: “I have seen this exhibition the other day, this Korean girl made a series of paintings focused on her pubic hair. It was over there” pointing her delicate hand to a gallery on the other side of the square.
“It was O.K, but I thought it was a bit overdone”, she adds.
“I had to review it for a magazine. The girl is actually nice”. After such a statement, we all close up again in silence. Panting as to shake off the heat. I don’t know what it is but it seems that good conversations belong to the sphere of a.m this time of the year.
Thomas Schneider says that there’s a party tonight.
The square looks now like a single, huge smoking are of a cheap club in central London, as everyone has taken their drinks with them and started wandering around the place, greetings people they “haven’t seen in soooooo long”, and complimenting the whole travesty with double air kisses.
We almost finished our spritzes, and so I ask what is the plan for tonight. “Lets get out of here”, says Alessandra. Willow agrees and adds, “Yes. Yes lets get out of here. Where to though, I really don’t want to move the car. It’s gonna be hell to try and look for parking later on”.
We all look gravely at her, she’s hell right. “We could go and have a spot of dinner somewhere close?” Alessandra enquires. “Pizza? There’s a nice pizzeria round the corner, but I won’t be able to digest it for a week”, I say. “Yes, no, let’s not go there. And we don’t want to see everyone there. You see all of these people, they’re probably going to go there. It’s going to be crammed”.
When Willow says this, the place got so crowded that a couple of girls are actually queuing at the bar’s door for a table. And this is a shithole of a bar, mind you.
“We could get a bottle of wine and go at someone’s for dinner?” Willow quietly whispers. Alessandra thinks for a couple of seconds and then shakes her head “My sculptor friend lives around here, but he’s so tedious, help me to say tedious. Just so tedious”.
Thomas Schneider says that there’s a party tonight.
Acknowledging Thomas’ suggestion for the first time, we all nod silently. But yeah no, yeah we could go, but how do we get there, I’m with my bike, and no one wants to move the car, have you seen the traffic? It’s mental.
“We need to get out of here, I’m so bored here. Too many people”.
After a few more seconds of silence, Thomas gets up: ‘Are we going? ‘Coz if we’re not I’ll get another drink”.
Looking at him, the three of us ask him in unison to get something for us as well. In what seems the hours we waited for our new round of spritzes to arrive we take in consideration our options for the evening. Pizza? Vernissage? Restaurant in a nearby town?
When our round arrives, we take a first sip: “We really need to get out of here”. Thomas Schneider says that there’s a party tonight. “I’m so bored here, help me say bored” “It will be hell to find a parking slot, later on, when we’ll be back though”.
We all raise our glasses: “Cheers”
By Matteo Sarti
Originally published on Lujon Issue 1