Back in 2015 I published a series of stories about the travels I took through Europe as a clueless but cute dipshit which I entitled Europe on Five Dollars a Day. I’m extremely sentimental and so I’ve attempted to hold onto every receipt, ferry ticket, picture, and postcard from those trips. Some things have been lost but I managed to hang onto two letters I received from a young Italian by the name of Massimo. I met him after our camera was stolen so you’ll have to take my word that he was gorgeous but not at all vain.
The news has been so grim lately that yesterday I found the letters and sat down next to the window to reread them. My first thought was to transcribe Massimo’s beautiful thoughts and fix the English but … you know … they’re perfect just the way they are. At least to me.
Here’s the first one, exactly as written. If you like it, I’ll publish the second tomorrow.
Thank you for those few instants spent all together. With your smile you has been the AMERICAN DREAM of three young Italians so different for character but who represent the typical Italian today with his good qualities and his defects. I believe that one of positive points of progress is meet often persons of different countries. I believe especially among youngmen these meetings are formative. Our charge of enthusiasm, our love that is shift from religion to the humanity, let us exceed in speed the barriers of language and of custom of the world. The only obstacle remains the time that conditions us particularly. By custom we put off till tomorrow our moments of happiness, without realizing that we shall be able to have every day our slice of sweet. Lately I have read a Dale Carnegie book and I have found useful the advise to consider every day like a lemon to squeeze dry. But the day spends quick and often remains a little of juice to squeeze. When you were among us, it could not squeeze sufficiently. The opinions, the experiences, the feelings that could have blended, have remained in our mind. There, perhaps they will germinate overbearingly because they will be so as we think they are. The reality is always different, less romantic, but has always a fascination which draws us, lets us act. The action is infact the flag of a modern man. To operate, to enter into the world, to give the better part of us to others disinterestedly. That is very difficult, this is the way that about 2000 years ago had indicated us a J.Cr. and it is strewn with incomprehension.
Here at Worksop, in a fine day we have gone to Clumber Park, the nature surrounded, submerged us, reshuffled us, let us become more genuine, more human and I should have wanted to feel near me, also only to behold your eyes, and to see your smile as at Ostende the first time I met you. I write you as even if we have decided on coming to see in our travel to Italy I should like to receive your news here at Worksop to know like that you spend your time and which impressions have awakened for you these three Italian youngmen. Waiting your news with pleasure, I send you a spontaneous smile with the saluts of Albert who has tried to express in correct way these my words and of Andrei who after reading has begun to smile. Salut by all us also to Carolyn