Saturday, November 14, 2009

Montgomery: not just a coat

I would have never thought I’d do it. But then who would have thought, 15 years ago, while I was living my boring teenager’s life in a boring middle-sized city in Italy that I would have found myself catapulted into the guts of the American Deep South?

I must say I have always had a vivid imagination, thankgoddess; yet, not even in my wildest dreams I had been able to envision myself, forward 15 years, living in the city of Montgomery, Alabama.

Back then, Montgomery was just the name of a coat for me; a type of coat. Quite on fashion back in the Sixties and Seventies and, at least in Italy, worn to these days by young and less young alike with an equally damn serious leftist demeanor. (Obviously, I myself owned a dark green one, which, if I recall correctly, was purchased in a second-hand store in my hometown’s Pre-Chinese times)

Nothing I knew about Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement or the Civil War or Francis Scott Fitzgerald.

Ok, let me restate this. I was actually an admirer of MLK, as I was an admirer of Gandhi and Don Milani—thankfully, I was breastfed with this intercontinental triumvirate of social justice and nonviolent thought.

But Montgomery? Never heard of it (besides the coat I was righteously wearing). Alabama? All I could think of were infinite cotton fields.

What I really did not know until lately was that when Martin Luther King Jr. first got relocated to Montgomery, all he wanted to do was to get the hell out—piece of information which has greatly contributed to draw me closer, in spirit, to one of my longtime heroes…

So, I came to find out that the Civil War started right here, idem the civil rights movement with Rosa Parks and her kiss my ass attitude. And to make things even more un-relentlessly-believable, Francis Scott Fitzgerald began his Tender is the Night during his sojourn in the city with his Montgomerian wife Zelda--according to my neighbor, while sitting one inch more, one inch less precisely where I am sitting right now, presently informing you about all of the above and below.

Life is as wild as it can be.

So, here I am, 32, single, living my own twisted version of the American Dream in the least likely place I would have ever imagined living it when I moved to the States from Berlusconi-land.

How I found myself in the current predicament I will not yet say. Suffice is to inform you that I intend to entertain your damn ass with my reflections upon life, culture, food, music and other gems dispatched from Montgomery. Take it as an extreme attempt to redeem my very presence here in the capital of Alabama The Beautiful.

Beware y’all. We Italians are as cynical as passionate and tend to get pissed very easily. Even when in voluntary exile like myself.

So here it is. Enjoy your stay in my blog.

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