Bogus Arrives in Rome
An overload of rather uncanny and exhilarating incongruities shook the eternal city last night. First there was a terrible tramontana that transformed the scenes on the streets, and the usual leisurely bustle of Saturday evening shoppers was forced to scuttle along quick, with chattering teeth and exaggerated winter apparel. When the thermometer slips below freezing, the Roman lifestyle abruptly looses all its defining characteristics. But that contrast was dwarfed by the surreal appearance of our dear Bogus. He came by train from Reggio Emilia, and the ever faithful Marcella was there at the station to pick him up. We met to have a dinner at Rome’s splendid old beerhouse, the Birreria Peroni on Via San Marcello, just off Piazza Venezia. We had to wait in the crowed anteroom (but with beers to drink), and Bogus was so delighted to hear people speaking with a Roman accent, which he had sorely missed in the north. Unfortunately, bad weather and flu bugs forced a large number of Bogus’s Roman friends to miss out, but Marcella, Daniele Dattilo, his girlfriend Katie and I finally took a great corner table in the back room, while other large groups of holiday celibrants tried to match our good spirits. As he finished his gulash, Bogus deftly attacked the sauce with a piece of bread, impeccably executing the ritual act performed by Romans: la scarpetta.
After dinner, we went to the Factory, where about thirty people braved the cold and the drafts to welcome Bogus to Rome, and where the memories of Julio and Bigode are still enlivened by their artworks. Keeping the incongruity theme right to the end, we danced to a wonderful set of Bahian music, but mostly to keep our feet from freezing!