Thursday, February 10, 2011
Mothers & Sons, XVI
Servi bought the boy a slice of pizza and then they waked toward the Vatican. Servi kept looking about nervously for Claudia’s bus, and was surprised by the boy’s fundamental lack of knowledge of his native city. He didn’t even know what the Vatican was; Servi bought them two tickets to the Vatican Museums and after standing on a lengthy line in the scalding sun they entered and Servi led the boy immediately to the Sistine Chapel.
In broad strokes, Servi explained who Michelangelo was and how he had painted the ceiling and how long it took. The boy looked up at the ceiling, but neither spoke nor registered any discernible emotion. Servi explained that one of the most famous and reproduced parts of the wall was God’s finger just leaving Adam’s, having rendered dead clay into living flesh. Again and again the boy could not find it, even when Servi knelt down and pointed a plumb line from Paulo’s eyes to the scene of contact between God and Man.
The day was getting late, and the boy was tired. Although he was heavy, Servi carried him, and he fell asleep on his shoulder.