Today’s major question is: Do we stop in Enna on the way to Piazza Armerina? Well, no. We’ve a three-hour majestic journey ahead of us and downtime feels more necessary than seeing another fucking beautiful thing/building/vista. So, after a scramble along the rocks in front of Cefalu’s seawall and fortified with strange pizza, we call for the car and hie our bunny asses outta there.
According to Google and her Maps, the route follows a four-lane motorway for the bulk of the way, though there appears to be a kerfuffle somewhere midway, a detour. The landscape varies constantly and abruptly, from cliff-hugging stark ruggedness to rich patchwork farmland adorned with wind turbines. Neither Alice nor I can fathom what the occasional traffic sign of a windsock means, but whoever shouts “Windsock!” first, wins. When we saw a real fucking windsock fluttering on the shoulder of the road, we could only glance at one another and whisper – ‘windsock.’
The detour commences. This is another case of Everything Happens For No Reason. We veer into a village for no reason, double back on ourselves incomprehensibly, speed across a one-lane metal bridge disregarding the stoplight, and, sweet Jesus, where’s the escape velocity incline? Ahhhhh. Up we go! The road has been scored for traction purposes. It doesn’t appear to deviate from a straightaway, yet it must either crest somewhere above or disappear into the clouds on its way to infinitum. Finally, the foolishness ends. We may have altitude sickness to look forward to, but at least we didn’t run out of gas, I mean, benzina.
Enna passes us by, with its formidable Lombard castle looking impregnable and far away. Alice manoeuvres us through Piazza Armerina to our respite for the next two nights – Villa Trigona, a rustic country inn. They are cordial and everything couldn’t be more accommodating. Until the baby begins to cry and carry on. In the late afternoon, tossing on my bed, I smell the reassurance of homecooking. For 25 euros, they’ll serve dinner. We enlist.
At dinner, we chat with a bashful married couple from England, the first people other than ourselves that we’ve spoken with. The meal seems endless and satisfies completely. I bid Alice goodnight. The baby. Its wailing intensifies and reverberates, bouncing off the tile floors and stucco walls. It begins to feel like its happening right in my room. The crying starts. The crying stops. The crying starts. The TV mumbles. Finally, I play into the hands of exhaustion.