Thursday, June 05, 2008

History Can Happen To You

Monica says, “You think it’s easy to live with so much history? When they removed the cobblestones of Piazza Signoria they found an entirely new city. For three years they blocked it off while they decided what to do. Finally they covered it up again. Too much trouble.

“But history is something that can happen to a person. My house was being built and I got a call: there was a problem. What now? I said. They’d found an Etruscan kiln beneath my house. Enormous thing. For three months I had men digging in my backyard with tiny spoons. They want to cover my backyard in plexiglass, light it up from beneath and give tours. I’d make a lot of money. Of course the government will never get around to it.

“Still, when I park my bicycle I like to think of what is under there. I’d like to be able to see it. I would have the most wonderful parties, looking down at the ancient times in my backyard.

“On the last day two hundred people came and sat in my back yard. I sat in my upstairs window watching them. Very nice, I thought. But give me back my house.

“Of course they made a book about it, the history I’m living with. Then they came and covered it back up with dirt. Now I get special tax breaks and in return I must plant no trees. Small plants only, nothing with roots.”

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