Ok. Today I have to write about The Telephone Bar. It is the most elegant combination of telephone and bar that you can imagine. I'm sure it doesn't exist over here in this part of the so-called civilized world. The Telephone Bar is obviously something that can only exist amongst such minds as those that birthed Michaelangelo and Dante, Da Vinci and, well, I don't have to go on, you know exactly which insanely brilliant Italian guys I mean. They alone can foster the sort of environment it takes to invent anything as delicate, as austere and as complexly nuaned as The Telephone Bar.
(Oh no! Upon a quickie google search, the only reference to a telephone bar I can find is to a gay bar in Bangkok where the telephones are used to call hot men at neighboring tables!! Sacrilege! Oh, and a so-called "Telephone Bar and Grill" in the East Village that's just 3 British phone booths parked on their boring butts outside. Not worth a quarter to call from, I say.)
The Telephone Bar I refer to is in Florence. It is like a diner. There is a lot of orange. You can order endless pots of cafe americana and sit in a booth with your girlfriend and read books in English for three or more hours, and no one will give a damn. You can take turns reading "Let the Dog Drive," by David Bowman and "The Fan Man" by William Kotzwinkle, laughing so hard it doesn't matter if you lose all sense of time space self language borders, because that's all been lost anyway. You can even order beer to drink with your coffee. You can meet your girlfriend there at 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning, as you please. You can each walk there to escape the weird Italian families you have been asigned to board with for your first 3 months abroad because it is equi-distance between your two houses. You can pour over maps of Europe and fool yourself into believing that you will follow the course you chart together now after your mother sells your car back home in exchange for your train ticket. You can sit at that booth, side by side, so immersed in each other that you forget there is or ever was a telephone, a connection, a man, a map, the whole world.