The day at work was total chaos.
The welcome backs, good-natured ribbing over my extended vacation and bestowal of presents (i.e. some fabulous European chocolate) were quickly put aside as I plunged into a non-stop schedule of updates, meetings, emails and planning sessions. The theatre world had not stopped while I was gone, and we were headed into the time of not only ending our season but also orchestrating a huge organizational relocation. There was much to cover, and the hours flew quickly by as I tried to get back in the swing of things.
Once I was finally home, exhausted both from the day and from a body that wasn’t quite sure which time zone it was in, I finally had time to re-read Mario’s letter. I toyed with the question of whether or not I should even respond. I mean, I was back in the States. What was the point of continuing the correspondence? Did I really need a pen pal?
My curiosity won. When honest with myself, I had to admit that I was insanely intrigued as to what Mario thinking – and to what he was planning on doing. I figured there was no harm in sending him a letter, letting him know that I had arrived safely and responding both his questions and to his ode to Sicily. I ended with a few questions of my own, leaving the door open should he choose to continue the correspondence. The cynical part of my brain presumed that I would never hear back from him. Or, at most, he would write me a few letters and then quickly lose interest. I mean, he was a handsome, intelligent, ambitious Italian man. I was pretty sure that he wasn’t hurting in the girl department. I figured that I was just a mere curiosity, this strange American woman who had, one rainy spring morning, shown up in his life. Surely, it was a curiosity that would be quickly satisfied, letting us both move on.
His response arrived the following morning.