From: Chapter 25
Beatrice and Jewel Walk along the Tiber
Sun and shade. Sun and shade. Warm and cool, hot and cool oscillated over the faces of Jewel and Beatrice walking between the rows of formally planted and evenly spaced trees along the promenade of the Tiber River. Cross-patterns of afternoon light cut through thin, moist, crystal, pleasant air. Rome on this day after Christmas was more than perfect for the artist and the child. Under trees they were a couple in love, secluded, contained, enclosed in secret freedom from the prying, public sky. Between the bars of shadow, bars of sun exposed, and thus imprisoned, them. Such is light that tells the secrets darkness keeps, making lovers more at liberty constrained than when released.
From: Chapter 26
A Taxi Driver, Toto
Beatrice stirred against her godchild as the taxi lurched up the mountain. She dozed to the sound of gears changing and fresh air hissing through partially open windows, and to aromas of the terrain change as they left the river and the city, and drove along the winding, wild-shrubbed mountainside toward a drier, warmer peak. She fitted her body closer into Jewel, who was happy she slept in her arms, but that was all. Jewel had fallen into regret about the drive. She wished at least she hadn’t sat directly behind the driver as she did. She deliberately strained to avoid Toto’s angle of vision in the rearview mirror, but could not evade her own reflected scars. Beatrice awakened slowly, swaying with the car. She felt a rise in herself of winds of the future, as if by this rumbling macchina she would be transported unexpected length, a stretch unpredicted by the segments of her life already lived. Beatrice knew she was on an adventure capable of changing her perceptions profoundly, a presentiment which would prove true within the hour, and of restructuring her very nature, which would prove true within the day. Is there/what is the correlation between the future and a person’s expectation?
-- by Barbara Rosenthal
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