The most serene republic (9 images and a wine diary)
Sitting beside the grand canal with a bottle of wine and you. I’m sipping it like water, watching the reflection of the Venezia night go by or stand still. My pen goes wilder and wilder, and it becomes easier to write and the words feel nicer as they land on the paper.
All the benches were either taken or too far away, so i’m sat against the wall of the hostel on the possibly filthy ground. When i first sat down there, was a girl not too far away, planning her day or days to come. She’s gone now, but others have taken her place, joining me, surrounding me. Different people; beers, waters, the empty handed, and nearer to the door where a faint light glimmered, a book.
The restaurant a block down, before the bridge, is full of students on vacation and older people enjoying the nightly slope. Their noise is joyous and seemingly honest, but just seems out of place. Here, in this line of us, not a word is said. THe only sounds are of the glass bottles retouching the unlevelled brick ground, and the very rare turning of her page. Surely she too was mesmerized by the little world ahead.
The running and pushing through the mercato streets of San marco earlier in the day is a distant memory. An oddly pleasant one, but distant nonetheless. I hold my bottle up between the lights and myself to gauge how long i’ve been, and how much longer i’ll stay. The green of the bottle towers over the red of the wine, and just before i make it even taller, the stranger beside me taps his drink against mine and raises and raises his beer to the heavens, others follow suit and i hear at least three languages utter what i can only imagine to be their version of ‘cheers’, and we drink.
A phrase i previously came across rolls through my mind and so completely held this moment. We were the most serene republic. I try to smile before realizing that i’ve been smiling all along.