16 May

I couldn’t even write about this yesterday…I was still processing it in my mind.

On Saturday night we were looking forward to enjoying one of Rome’s versions of Nuit Blanche – La Notte dei Musei – where museums are free and open from 8 pm – 2 AM.  The plan was to explore a fairly new museum: Trajan’s Market which showcases not only Trajan’s Forum, but those of Caesar (yay Caesar!), Augustus and Nerva.

Unfortunately, we never made it…while we were waiting to order a pizza and for a little al fresco picnic, Alessandro suddenly froze, went pale & wild-eyed and whispered; “I forgot to blow out the candles.”

I froze too for a beat; and we both took off and ran without a word, despite knowing that there could be no possible prevention of a disaster.  Alessandro had already been away for 2 hours, and it would take us 45 minutes to rush back to the car, and then drive home.

I had always thought to comment on how he burned the candles; without a holder, sitting on a piece of paper, on a wood dresser. But he is always so conscientious, that I could not believe that he would ever forget them!

We flew home in sheer, silent terror; I couldn’t imagine how, if he indeed left them on, they wouldn’t burn down the entire flat.  There was nothing to say, just to silently whisper words of hope. It didn’t seem possible that our new life together in Rome could begin this way.  But if it did, we would have to cope with it.

Once we made it on to our street I was relieved to see no fire engines shrieking in the driveway; still, we rushed the stairs and opened the ridiculous multiple door locks with shaking hands.

On the dresser of our still-intact apartment, we found the burnt-out remains of 3 candles.  One had scorched a little circular mark in the dresser, the other 2 had extinguished themselves.  Everything else was untouched. We collapsed in tears & laughter – those that come from an overwhelming sense of disbelief, relief and gratitude.  We knew we had dodged what had seemed like an inevitable bullet.  When something like happens is it fate? Luck? Random?  I couldn’t help but feeling that we were watched over…protected in this new little life of ours.

Now I am solo for a few days.  Alessandro left this morning to for the International Wine Fair in London and will be gone until next Sunday. He is not allowed to light candles unsupervised!  Tomorrow I’ll board a bus for Siena to meet my parents on their European road trip and help celebrate my Mom’s 70 (!) birthday.  I trust this sense of feeling protected will continue – especially when I am out on the scooter dodging Roman drivers!


3 Responses to “Disaster…Averted”

  1. Liz May 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    So glad you’re both safe!

    Have a wonderful time in Siena – hope you get into the Cathedral and the adjacent biblioteca…one of my favorite places in Italy. The marble pillars are truly unique and the manuscripts and mosaics on the ceiling are breathtaking. Enjoy!!

    • A Life in Rome... May 20, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

      I loved it Liz – the mosaics on the floor and the Piccolomini library were incredible!

  2. Wahine Michelle May 24, 2011 at 5:15 am #

    omg. I’m well aware of the feeling you described on the car ride home. Have dealt with this in matters of my camera equipment. ohhh, anxiety! Glad all is ok and i’m sure not a candle will remain burning in your absence from here on out!

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