Saturday, August 09, 2003

Meg Ryan Breaks the Fourth Wall

Roman holiday.

I’m glad Rome is hot. That’s how I imagined it, reeking of baked asphalt. The sun is presently baking all of Europe, in fact, but it looks like I might not suffer in the Spanish heat, as the train from Milan to Barcelona is booked through August 16. Beyond that, me and Charles-in-Charge split from the girls temporarily so they could go see Barcelona early. No we have to negotiate new plans from opposite ends of Italy.

And now, in true Faulknerian style, a host of surprise guest narrators. First, a note from mom reminding me that, yes, it really is as hot as I think and, yes, Jim Vanderszwann has not also died in my absence:
Hello again Drew,

Just want to let you know that your tube with the posters has arrived and is waiting for you in your room. If you mailed the box with the clothes at the same time I guess it will be not far behind. I was listening to the news tonight and Jim Vanderszwann said it has been unusually hot in Europe this summer. Even London has been hot . . . so hot that they shut down the Millennium wheel because it was too hot inside the capsule that people were getting sick...like being in a giant terrarium for a whole hour! I am supposing you got a chance to go on the Wheel? Anyway, keep us up to date on your travels, have fun, stay safe. Love you, MOM
And that's not all:
Drew--

Okay, so I got my pictures back from London already, and — oh, man — there are some real winners of you. It's great, you amuse me even a zillion miles away. Let me know how your travels go and where they take you. I'm really jealous. Bastard. Lafayette is super boring; I can't wait to start work. Good to hear from you. . .

*Shannon

p.s. "I hope they don't procreate in there" -- Colin, in frustration about the noise level of our fellow students.

An email hilariously sent to me by Kristen — the same Kristen with whom I am travelling — updating me as to what I have done on my vacation:
hey y'all,

Leaving Interlaken today for florence. it was amazing. we got advice about a cool hike to take in the alps in this town called grindelwald or something and it was even prettier than interlaken. drew likened it to a model train town and it was so true, it was the most picturesque perfect little swiss town. and we hiked up to this glacier and it was way way pretty. and in switzerland, they're really into kids and novelty, i have decided. they're just everywhere. on the mountain we hiked, there were these toboggan rides for 4 francs. everybody comes to interlaken for the extreme sports like hang gliding and bungee jumping but those are expensive! so we took the little toboggans instead and it was awesome. the whole town is pretty expensive so the first night, we ended up eating at hooters because it was the cheapest place in town. hooters. hope you all are having a great summer.

love,
kristen
Good to know I'm having such a great time. But Kristen's right about what i said about the model train-like appearance of Switzerland. The whole countryside has, to steal the coinage of Agnes, a "manicuredness" to it that it is nearly too perfect. Italy, with its cracked sidewalks, and overgrown, weedy gardens seems more realistic.

And finally, an email titled "I am addicted" from a newly reintroduced character:
Your "online journal" is like a bad reality show. I just can't stop reading it. You have changed so much, but it's still you. Maybe it's just that I haven't seen you for so long, it's kinda like getting back to old time. Either way, I don't what I'll do once you stop writing.

- Meg
Meg Ryan goes through the fourth wall. I like guest narrators. Fifteen days.