The sun is already high in the sky over Trastevere, and it floods the apartment with light. Marie Louise leaves her room – a hurried chignon bun, a silk kimono. “Good morning everyone,” she says, and with a ballerina’s gait she carries her lithe figure into the kitchen, where she puts an espresso coffee pot on.
The fourth floor affords an aerial view of exquisite domes, from the Pantheon to St. Peter’s and Santa Maria dei Miracoli. Marie Louise muses that seeing that view, makes up for skipping meditation.
She takes a deep breath and rolls herself a cigarette. “Miss, it’s late, don’t you have to be at Il Pellicano soon?” “You’re right. Time to crack on.” Marie Louise grabs the bag and throws her Moleskine into it, along with a couple of hair bands and sunglasses.
She slips out of the door, the little dog close behind. She likes driving. It’s when she lets her thoughts run free, and she plays the game she likes best after backgammon.
It’s a kind of solipsistic dharmasastra, a Socratic debate with herself, or simply self-provocation. It goes like this: she observes one of her opinions and asks herself,
“How can I see the same thing from another standpoint?”
When it comes down to it, challenge is the leitmotif of her life.
Who wants to go on holiday to Il Pellicano, a villa nestled amidst the cliffs overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea set in the shade of towering cypress trees, and look at monuments of Italian neorealist films?
Yes, Marie Louise is well aware that her guests go there to relax, but it’s important for her that they can also have the chance to enhance themselves. Only if they want to, of course, and without going over the top.