[Ed. note– The following piece, the final column entry written by Signal Tribune intern Andrea Ciccolini, was only lightly edited in an effort to preserve his “voice” and writing style, as he makes his transition into learning English. Ciccolini finished his internship this week and will return to Rome, Italy on Jan. 28.]
As I write this last column, I imagine readers listening to a bittersweet song while they read this…
Time is gone. It is gone too fast. On Monday I will be back in the “Eternal City,” my hometown. I will bring with me a suitcase full of memories about what California is for me.
It is surfing.
It is friends from all over the world.
It is friends I will never meet again.
It is the sunset on the ocean.
It is the parties organized at the last minute.
It is good music on the radio.
It is international restaurants.
It is my desk, my colleagues and my columns at the Signal Tribune.
It is a hope.
It is friendly people.
It is cooking Italian food because me and everybody love it.
It is the friends I have cooked with a lot of time for everybody.
It is to have a plan and always change it at the last second.
It is Venice Beach, my favorite one.
It is Hollywood.
It is eating with the “food fighters.”
It is the girl I went with in the Japanese restaurant.
It is eccentric homeless in front of Walmart in Long Beach.
It is the BBQ on the beach.
It is to be almost every time sleepy because too many things to do, too many persons to meet and never enough hours in a day.
It is to talk with friends in Italy about my Californian life.
It is motivation to keep moving and get better my life.
It is the sun, but also fog, and sometimes the rain.
It is the traffic, less aggressive than in Rome, but always unpleasant traffic.
It is the rules against smoking and alcohol.
It is Lakers.
It is Trojans.
It is my apartment in Long Beach with my roommates.
It is fast food restaurants everywhere.
It is the big streets, the big cars and the big supermarkets and shopping centers.
It is surf again and again because I really love it.
It is to help a drunk friend.
It is the beauty of this land.
It is my long journey between Arizona and California.
It is my trip in Las Vegas for Christmas.
It is my knee injured playing soccer during my first week here.
It is the theater of Quentin Tarantino where I watch his movie.
It is the botanical garden at the Huntington Library.
It is the Getty Museum.
It is the ideas for this column that I never used and I will never use.
It is Halloween.
It is the Elections.
It is Thanksgiving.
It is warm Christmas.
It is New Year.
It is the Studios.
It is the location of a lot of movies that I love.
It is the English international school I have attended. And the staff and the teachers of the school. Some of them was more a friend than a teacher.
It is driving with the windows down, the high-volume music without knowing exactly where to go.
It is more than 600 I have to remember this period of my life.
It is the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen.
It is you that have read my column thinking good or, more probably, bad things about this Roman guy.
It is to understand how lucky I am to have lived all this.
It is much more than this.