I sat at the station about an hour outside Milan waiting for the train.
The night before, over a bubbling glass of demi-sec, the winemaker of the year had explained to me just how much humanity goes into a wine: how much woman, how much man, how much good sense. Connecting with people in this line of work had me riding high on my inner wave. Passion and honesty, toasting to the inescapable reality.
I was on my way to La Scala, feeling the ghost of Mozart and his human genius at my back.
But the train was not coming, and no one knew when it would pull through.
I inquired at the office, and asked other dazed travellers. “Maybe in 30 minutes,” they offered. “Maybe not.” Italy is not a robot, but it does mirror the human soul, which is much less timely and orderly than we’d like to make it. I pulled my suitcase over into the sun and sat down on a stone bench. Something there is in the messiness that empowers and soothes. I smiled at the girl beside me as a passing train tossed my hair and laughed freely in my face. “It’s not that one, is it?” I asked. “No. And not the next one either,” she replied. We leaned back in silence, and waited awhile.
Trains and people are not so very different here.