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Food, clothing and shelter 0

Dear Bradshaw,

Believe it or not it’s snowing in Rome right now. It was forecasted and, apparently, for once, the weathermen were right, which is a rare occasion around here (both the snow and its having been predicted). Last time it snowed in Rome was 2004. I happened to be moving from my apartment near Piazza Risorgimento to another near Piazza Navona and boy what a load of fun that was. I had to wait twenty-five minutes (I timed it) for the bus to arrive while hovering over my belongings to (try to) keep it all dry. Anyway, the snow now has been falling for over an hour and I’m telling you Shaw it’s coming down like crazy.

It’s morning here, February 12th, and I’d much rather stay home and stare through the window, maybe even open a bottle of wine and toast those flying white fluffs. Funny how these flakes fall, as if each has a mind of its own, determined to get where it’s going even though, as cold as it is, it’s not enough to turn them into snowmen or snow angels or snow anything because the snow melts as it hits the ground.

On another note, we’ve been apartment hunting for a month now, looking to buy but I think we’re going to have to call it quits because, though the banks are encouraging us to come in and talk mortgage, we can’t afford one. Incredible, isn’t it? The fact a person can work his or her tuchus off 5 or, for me, 6 days a week and still not earn enough for food, clothing and shelter. Something’s wrong when one of the system’s hard-working members can’t attain the three basic requirements for sustaining life.

Yes, I earn enough to break even after paying for food, rent, bills, an occasional shirt or pair of pants, books, birthday and holiday gifts for Francesca and, well, our daily bottle of wine, but what about when I’m 70, 80 or, God willing, 90? Meanwhile, some people in this city own two houses, or even three, four or five. A percentage of those houses are mansions (castles!), and many of those same people who own them also own Lamborghinis, Ferraris, ships, islands and who knows what else. And here we are, Francesca and I, working eight or nine hours a day and though we enjoy our lives and vacation now and then, it’s only because saving to retire or buying a house (or a castle) is completely out of the question.

Sorry, Shaw, must be something about this blizzard that makes me feel this way. Maybe because the sky’s white, and it reminds me it’s winter and, well, let’s face it, death. Ah well, whatever, right? So what if I can’t afford a mansion or a yacht and never will. I can afford wine, right?

What d’ya know? It has stopped snowing. Just in time for me to get up, take a shower, and then slave through the day.

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