there is a baby name list saved on my phone with entirely too many names. three of them christian continually deletes and then i re-add them.
agnes has been the ongoing fight.
i’m pretty sure i’m not going to win this fight, but like fievel learns in the american tail, never say never! so i keep acting as if agnes still has a chance!
he has val kilmer to thank for my obsession with the name. i first loved it in 1997 after watching the saint. that movie also bred my desire to see rome. vatican city to be exact. i wanted to witness the pietà for myself.
we spent our first three days of italy exploring rome. everything about rome eerily reminded me of brazil. i can’t even explain how or why that would make sense. it was the sounds and smells. the bread and markets. the customs and traffic. i felt very much at home there, despite not being able to speak italian. it was my first time traveling somewhere and not knowing the language and i did not love that aspect of the trip.
so many things were packed into the vatican museums. often we found ourselves in front of masterpieces, just tucked neatly in with all the others. or walking down stairs made by michelangelo.
i had a laminated print of his creation in my freshman dorm room. christian had warned me to not expect too much from the sistine chapel, and he was right. we didn’t enter a chapel, we entered a hall, swarming with hundreds of people and guards periodically calling out silencio. i craned my neck upward in the center of the crowded room and then i was done.
the basilica was enormous, and beautiful and more of what i was expecting. to one side of the papal altar was the left transept. it is a chapel reserved for prayer and daily mass. i told christian that i had a prayer to pray. we sat there in that quiet space. heads bowed. i prayed for agnes.
we paid 6 euros and climbed the winding 320 stairs of the cupola.
we were confined to the narrow passageway with dozens of other visitors. many of whom were not particularly vigilant deodorant users.
outside we ate our paninis and christian forged the pope’s signature on a postcard to his mom.