Rome Journal: An Oasis for Depressives

It’s nice to speak another tongue. It’s a way of thinking. For instance, if you’re a depressive, it can be a change of pace to be depressed in French or Italian. Rome is a wonderful place in which to fall into a depression, once you’ve got a hang for the local dialect. It’s a lot different than say being depressed in your usual metropolitan New Yorkese. New Yorker’s have a world weary affect that reflects itself in the slang acronyms they like S.O.S. But Romans employ lots of friendly little words like “quindi,"“supratrutto”‘purtroppo,” and “communque.” They're armed with qualifiers which ęnable them to convince themselves that feelings aren’t facts and they're not in as bad a shape as they may originally appear to be. Artichcoke is a favorite Roman dish and "carciofi alla Romana," is the opposite of suicidal ideation. Fellini’s intellectual in La Dolce Vita, Steiner, who commits suicide, might have been spared (at least creatively) if he had been in café on the Via Veneto mouthing the name of the dish and the same goes for "cacio e pepe" or for that matter "Cinecitta," the name of the famous film studio on the outskirts of Rome. "Gianicolo," "Fontana di Tortuga," "Parco degli Acquedotti" are all the name of places in Rome which are like serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Once you say them, you feel the cloud begin to lift.

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy’s blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}

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