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ROME I - Part I

The boys are in Rome. Don't we wish WE were??? R.

From Rome

Mikey:

Sorry I haven't written in awhile. We explored Tuscany on our bikes and stayed in towns so small, the mail was still delivered by donkey. (No, Mikey, not really, but go with that.) We had a wonderful time mingling with the people, eating local food and staying in tiny hotels along the road. Saved a bundle of money, too, since the rack rates are so cheap and since there was nothing much to BUY!

But that's over. Here we are in Rome. Cha-ching! Staying at the Hotel Hassler right at the top of the Spanish Steps. What a location! Once we made it here in the most incredible traffic I have ever seen, we parked the bikes and they'll stay parked until we leave! I thought I lost Justin at least twice. He's not yet good enough to drive in such traffic and he scared me, so the also terrifying spectacle of cabs is our only hope. We arrived at dusk, cleaned up, took a disco nap, had dinner late, in true Italian fashion, then hit a gay bar we had been told about my a simpatico concierge.

Well, how weird is this? Once we passed muster at the door, we were admitted through this entry that has a huge steel drop down door hovering overhead like the garage door from hell. When I asked about it I was told the current government turns its face from homosexual behavior as long as it's not public. But this is the land of the pope, and the perverted practice of man on man is still criminal here. Given the way the government can change from one day to the next with successively more linear fascists in charge, the gay bars put up these protective doors so that if a raid occurs, the patrons can escape through secret passages while the fascists are busy breaking down the barrier.

He was so matter of fact as he explained this to me that it made my blood run cold. I've been so caught up in Justin on this trip that I haven't paid much attention to the plight of gays. While there is a sizeable gay population here, the persecution runs thick. The government, while socialized and officially rejecting Catholicism is still heavily influenced by the rules under which they were raised as well as the general fascist dislike of anything not prescribed by the state. It was sobering. We feel put upon at home, but shit, overall, we're very lucky.

It made us feel a little sad and a little less like dancing. So we went back to our room, double bolted the door and held onto each other wondering how something that felt so right could be so wrong. Don't mean this to be a downer. Maybe in the sunlight of a new day I'll feel less targeted.

Arrivi derci,

B.

Hey Daph,

Well, despite the fact I was almost killed a couple times by crazy Roman drivers, we're HERE! It's been so quiet, in the Tuscan countryside, that Rome is a real shock! HUGE and so much traffic and so many ancient buildings and bridges stuck in with all the new stuff.

We have a GORGEOUS hotel room, very elaborate, and I felt like John Malkovich should come walking in wearing a white powdered wig and silk waistcoat as he throws a little decadence at the two faggy guests in the fancy palace! LOL!

The tub has gold dolphins that serve as water faucets and the tub is so big, we both fit in with no problem at all. There is even a fireplace in the bathroom! What Brian paid for this, I'm afraid to ask! We went to bed after our bath while it was still light and fucked each other blind. Finally we fell into an exhausted sleep until around nine, when we got ready for dinner. They eat really late here.

Even at that hour, every café was full, and the food was DIVINE! We later went to a gay club and danced for awhile, but Brian talked to the owner about the oppression of gays in Rome (BORING!) and that seemed to bring him down, so we left early.

All I noticed was how HOT the guys are!!!!

Tomorrow we start taking in the sites. Can't wait. THE SISTINE CHAPEL!!!! THE PIETA!!!! Ohhhh, klill me now. Oops, Bri is saying he WILL kill me now if I don't turn off the lights.

C-ya,

J.

Em:

Hi, it's Brian. I'm taking a break. My feet hurt. I need a drink. I need a loan. This was my day in Rome. Tomorrow is Justin's day. On my day, I found the place where all good rag queens and label queens go to die. It's the elephant's boneyard of fashion, the ultimate chic. You would go into cardiac arrest the moment you saw the Piazza di Spagna. It's at the foot of the Spanish Steps which front our hotel.

Every shop known to faggots across the world is in this area. The usual (Armani, Versace, Bulgari etc.) are there, but also some interesting boutiques not quite as well known. (As a literary aside, the Keats-Shelley house is also here, but I digress.)

So, for your edification, my rag trade friend, here is what I bought:

Silk pajamas at Balloon. Ok, as Justin points out, I never wear pajamas or anything else to bed. Why delay the inevitable? But someday I may need to go into the hospital for an eye tuck or something and I want to look good. Besides, lounging around on a Sunday, reading the paper? Perfect.

Krizia: A suit. God, it was expensive, but Krizia knows how to cut a jacket. By the way, they said I had the kind of body and look that would make a perfect fashion model. Just thought I'd throw that in.

Mizzoni: Two beautiful sweaters. Can't wait for it to get cold.

D&G: This is kind of a Gap Kids goes upscale. It's the hipper version of Dolce and Gabbana. I bought Justin a couple shirts, some jeans and a leather jacket which all of which sizzle on his cute little body.

Frette: Linens from heaven. Got some sheets for the loft, monogrammed, of course and a bathrobe for the boy. Tired of his wearing mine. He pouted when I threatened to get towels that said His and Hers. HA! I did get some towels, with my initials of course.

Versace: A shirt for Babylon, very retro seventies.

Armani: A suit. Ok, look, I work for a living. I need to look good when I pitch a big account.

Broke and exhausted, we dragged our butts back to the hotel. Tomorrow I will be righteous and make amends for my excess at the Vatican and St. Peter's. The kid has to see the art, of course, and I guess I'm not so blasé that I'm not looking forward to the Sistine Chapel and the Pieta. My Mom will be so proud.

Ciao,

B.

P.S. I didn't forget you. Look for a little something in the mail from one of my favorite shops on Piazza di Spagna. Don't tell or everyone will want one.

Go to Chapter 9

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Beginning
July 25, 2004