At work today I had to step outside of the office and away from my lovely stack of invoices and tearsheets to recieve a phonecall from my past. Gwen is a double-black belt in karate, a psychica pianist, a poet, a painter, fluent in Italian and the beloved victim of stalkers too numerous to count. Weezer's lead man has written several songs about her including Butterfly, which we listened to in our shared dorm senior year at least 18,000 times a day. Although I spent two years with Gwen- one in Italy and one in New York- solid, daily, 24/7 & etc. I have only seen her one time in one day in the 11 years since we graduated. And that was the day of my wedding. Although Gwen and I did many, many different things together-- from wholesome to illegal & everything inbetween, one of the things we loved doing best was reading. Separately and together. Outloud and silent. We went to the English bookstore and bought all kinds of random books we'd never heard of to devour together in our apartment along with tomatoes, mozarella and a couple of bottles of Chianti. In an earlier post I wrote about reading "The Fan Man" outloud to each other at the Telephone Bar, but after a few months of meeting there every night, we found that just wasn't enough. We had to move in and be together absolutely every minute and so we found an apartment above a wine store on Via Guelfa near the train station caddycorner to plenty of prostitutes and drugdealers. It was there that I gave her "Jane Eyre" and she gave me "Wuthering Heights." It was there that we discovered Natalia Ginzberg, Italo Calvino, hashish and Sappho. We named each room in our apartment (furnished with items we found in the alley) after a ring of Dante's Inferno. If you had been able to stand on the roof of our apartment, you could have seen the Duomo.