Morning walk. Ten o’clock. She, meaning Teah the dog, jumps down from the bed and stands hopefully in the doorway. “Time for my second walk, for that cappuccino, so I can see what’s going on in the street. Besides which I like Anthony and the others who come sit outside the Blue Bar. I might even find a crumb somebody dropped.”
It’s getting to be chilly but one can still sit outside. Teah lies down next to my chair after having sniffed around for stray crumbs. A hand reaches down to scratch the top of her head. Bob, the watercolor artist, wonders if his adoptive daughter is taking proper care of their dog back in the States as he takes out his phone and shows me his latest of the valley and fog. His wife will be dropping by soon on her way to her morning walks. Like David, for whom Blue Bar is a daily stopover, they are a way of keeping Parkinson’s at bay and one can walk along the edge of the cliff overlooking the patterns of fields and olive groves and hedgerows below, or go to the other side of Orvieto and walk under the pines and horse chestnuts, which are beginning to change color.
Teah jumps to her feet as a dark brown poodle goes by, but then decides she might as well lie back down and see what the passers-by are up to. Hopefully Gary and his blonde Polish girlfriend will come for their morning coffee too and pet her a while. Yesterday they even brought down a radish from their rooftop garden in the building across the way, not that it interested Teah very much. Gary doesn’t believe in wearing masks, unless you want to, for yourself, he says. He just doesn’t understand that you’re also protecting others by wearing a mask. Obviously, I never talk politics with him. Anthony takes his time about bringing me my cappuccino and cornetto, but that is Anthony. He will design a heart in the foam and ask if I forgive him for taking so long, which of course I do for he has something endearing about him. One gets used to his forgetting and he may even bring out his guitar and play a song before remembering to serve you. I dip my cornetto with its touch of jam into the coffee, which is cold by now, and lift it out carefully with its coating of foam, putting my mouth over the cup so I won’t spill any on my purse.
Teah continues to observe me and the clients that come and go, hoping Igor, an expert on Oriental carpets, might come by too. He’s always ready to lend a hand and hung my pictures for me in my new apartment. Finnish, a lovely person, Orvieto is now home for him. Another ten minutes pass. Anthony’s little girl comes by with her mother and reaches out hesitantly to pet the dog’s soft fur. Bob goes back to painting his watercolors, his wife is probably halfway to the other side of Orvieto, and Gary is busy getting his gym set up on the ground floor of the building where he lives. Alberto has stopped by for his coffee, leaving his bike momentarily by the door before going back to modeling gnomes and castles in his shop at the curve where cars always slow down to let pedestrians come through, with or without their dogs or baby carriages. Teah needs to walk too, but not for Parkinson’s. I have counted out the change and leave it on the table – a silvery-ringed 2-euro piece, some copper small change that reminds me of pennies. “Come on, Teah”, I say, “ let’s walk a bit and then back home.” I pull up my mask and we are off. Reluctantly she gets up and decides she wants to go right when I want to go left. Doesn’t make much difference – all roads in Orvieto end up at the same place.