30 Minutes in the Piazza

Photo by Gavin Roddy

Photo by Gavin Roddy

By Gavin Roddy

Cagli’s piazza should have been filled with people dressed in black and white, busily scurrying across the cobblestones like a colony of ants. The square should have been the heart of the city, with the peoples’ footsteps reminiscent of a heartbeat going thump thump thump with every pedestrians’ passing step.

But it was not. Instead, as the sun gently sank towards the horizon, clouds of residents commingled, floating gaily through the fog. Men and women moved in an almost meditative state. Time was irrelevant. A smoky aroma drifted listlessly through the streets. The smoke was not so sharp to the nose, as it was smooth to the throat.

Smooth. The peoples’ motions were smooth. The stones on the ground and buildings were smooth. Everything was smooth.

Perhaps the only true disturbance to the placid scene was a young red headed tourist fidgeting with her camera. There might have been lasers coming from her eyes as she nervously scanned her surroundings. Her head moved in chopping motions as she sought out a subject for her photos. The ristorante? Nothing. The city hall? Nothing. The church across the street? Nothing.

The sound of bell chimes gave a brief respite to her scavenging. They filled the air with a tinny sound far too weak to disturb the public. They chimed on the quarter of every hour for no other reason than to remind the city that although not pronounced, time still did exist.

The woman’s fellow tourists sat together at a table across the street from the fountain. Despite their bounciness, even they were eventually subdued by the city’s aura. Meanwhile a young Italian boy played in the fountain. He ran his hand through the water watching the ripples run through the pool until they disappeared into nothingness. His large brown eyes glided to the tourists with a quiet curiosity. Who were these foreigners mucking up his town?

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