Peak hour in Venice.
By Pamela Karitinos.©
Vaporettos zigzag fluid along waterways. Obey signals, give way, bon giorno, go, slow, idle. Steps down, hand rail down, passengers off, passengers on, hand rail up, steps up, buy biglietto, give way, accelerate, obey. Signals, slow, delay, accelerate, decelerate, idle, steps down, hand rail down, buy biglietto, and so on, and on and on and on and on and blah and blah and blah and blah and bah and bah, bah, bah, bah.
Water taxi’s stream along carrying men in sharp espresso suits wearing shaper wrap around shades who have close shaved sharp angular jaw-lines, and aerodynamic noses. With gleaming amber solare´ skin they seem almost two-dimensional like life sized sharp cardboard cut outs smoking slim lined cigarettes in slim lined shoes being whooshed directly to the steps of slim lined entrances of their work, without a hair out of place.
And gondolas are nowhere to be seen during peak hour.
Then there are those who don’t catch vaporettos or water taxi’s and not not take gondolas, but instead avoid the water jam altogether because they walk over bridges that join with other bridges that exist underneath dripping clothes lines hanging over canals which stagnate under an endless winding connection of bridges and washing clothes lines, holding the entire city together. A grid of bridges and clothes lines and Palaces no one is allowed to enter, floating at the north of Italy that moves as a whole and goes nowhere.
They say it smells of rotting fruit and vegetables from the barges that supply restaurants, hotels and cafes with produce very early in the morning when there is an invisible film of stagnant mist clutching to stagnate canals, but all I can smell are short machiatos and espressos being sculled by mannequin styled Venetians striking a cardboard cut out pose and lined up along a long bar with time only to tick – pick up their espresso cup. Tock – slide it down shooting an espresso warmth into esophagus and through belly, sinew and muscle, only stopping for a moment at slim lined feet standing on a cigarette butt stamped floor that ascends to a gleaming sharp chromed bar whose glass top reflects steam rising from short machiatos and espressos, ascending to lips and descending into so on and so on and on and on and on. And go.