The Homeland

And I find myself listening to Italian music. I never listen to Italian music. Ever.

I grew up appreciating bands like Queen, Pink Floyd, Bowie et cetera, forced to listen to them in my dad’s old Alfa Romeo. I always hated Italian music; it was just so corny, and everyone sounded like they had a potato in their mouth when they were singing.

But, tonight, my iPod is playing melodramatic Italian songs, and it feels right. Artists I haven’t heard since my first summer fling in a little coastal town off of Venice are now reminding me of different times. I’m not that old, but I have plenty of better days to look back to, and enough self-criticism to realize I’ve been a dick since the first time I got dumped by a chick who was too good-looking for me. And I’ve remained scared. And all these sappy love songs keep me company as I walk.

I see my apartment door, but I keep walking, almost faster without an explanation, without realizing. I should be going home, but after a nice meal at a pizzeria in Williamsburg with a friend, I’m caught with a sudden urge to have a gelato. You see, I can’t just end my dinner without having a sweet. Dammit,  mom, for spoiling me rotten. But thoughts on my upbringing will be left for another story, I don’t want to make myself sound like a whiny individual right away; I’ll warm up to you though, don’t you worry.

And so this twenty-minute walk from the east to the West Village begins. I wouldn’t normally go out of my way for some just-above-average gelato from Grom, but tonight it is quite alright; the only time when I’ll make a special trip to eat gelato is if I have my bike with me (yes, I have a Bianchi).

Nothing really matters tonight, though, it’s still early enough; and I’m procrastinating, finding any excuse not to walk into my room, because I know, once I get settled in, I’m faced with an empty suitcase that needs to get filled with all my belongings.
Tomorrow I leave for Italy, “the homeland,” and I’ve waited for this day, tragically perhaps, since I left there a couple of months back.

I know I’m a great romantic concerning these matters, and I get carried away with memories that have become something much greater than what they were in actuality; by now I’ve understood my insanity, yet I embrace it. I’m not saying that being in Italy, and being home with my family isn’t great, but a big part of the excitement is the anticipation, the last minute calls to your friends telling them you’ll be landing the next morning, and the part where everything reminds you of home, like a mediocre gelato.

Right now I’m enjoying this anticipation, and, damn, I’m glad I’m going home.



Corey Knight

Founder of A&H Group.