Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Mothers & Sons, VI
Servi walked quickly alongside Claudia Sacerdotte. She asked him several pointed questions about his visit to Rome, and upon hearing his answers, clicked her tongue in evident disapproval.
“A young man should not waste his time like that,” she said, glancing at him as they walked. “How old are you, anyway?” Servi told her. She clicked her tongue again. “I have ten years on you, so I should know about lost time.”
From the flow of the conversation, from the biting edge of her words and her teasing, tense and imaginative sense of the world, Servi thought they may sleep together. He imagined her as the tour guide of eros, giving him instructions in French, German, Hebrew, English, Italian, in technique, speed, etiquette; she would attach to sex the same commando style which she imposed on a group of aging Germans: firm, gentle, brisk, polite, but always with one eye on the clock, continually aware that days and nights and sex were cycles to be enacted, and that like a guided tour around the heart of the capital of Christendom, it must come to a conclusion, whether satisfying or not.
Servi watched Claudia speak with one of the day school attendants, who told her that her son Paulo was nowhere to be found.
“Oh Jesus,” the attended explained, looking about. “He’s escaped again.” On hearing this, Claudia did not register any visible distress. She just glanced at Servi knowingly.
“They can’t even keep track of one little boy,” she said to him loudly, so the other woman could hear. “I can lead forty French pensioners around by their noses but they can’t hold onto one boy.”
“We have a dozen little boys here, Senora Sarcedotte,” the woman answered primly.
“Your son is missing?” Servi asked Claudia, alarmed.
“Don’t worry,” Claudia pulled Servi away by his arm. “He is only ritually lost. He always goes to the same place.”