Saturday nights in Ponte Buriano were a big, big deal.
By 7pm the air was full of sticky clouds hovering around the toilet, the kitchen and the living room.
Fog in the air.
Hairspray at Boldini’s.
My grandma Cecchina only wore flower prints; skirts, shirts, dresses and nightgowns.
I wanted to shine and be full of light all the time, just like every girl who spent the day playing with her Barbie doll.
So I would always go to a place called Lo Chalet wearing something glittering. Sometimes it could be my skirt, some other times a clothespin, or my stockings.
When I was at Lo Chalet I was not allowed to dance. Or well, I could dance as long as I would stay on my side of the stage. I could not disturb the professional dancers. I could sprinkle some baby powder along the stage when nobody was around.
Bottom line was: I had to be polite. Saturday nights at Ponte Buriano were a big issue back then.
Women would sit all together waving their fan and holding their bag, just like you see in the movies. They were waiting for someone to ask them to dance. And when somebody did come to ask them to dance, girls would never be fully happy. They would look like: “Well, if I really have to…”.
I could never figure out if they were playing a game, a ritual, or something else.
I could only stay in my corner and dance with my grandma when she was not dancing with someone else. I had to stay on my side of the stage because I didn’t have to bother the “adults”.
There were not many kids spending their Saturday night at Lo Chalet; most of them would stay out playing away, but I loved spending time inside and dancing with 70-year-old people.
Scarface, Michelle Pfeiffer dancing with Al Pacino.
That night in Rome I moved from Ponte Buriano to the States. I switched from being an innocent girl into a seductive woman.
I blame my glitters and my haircut.