Thursday, October 25, 2007

Underage Appropriate Behavior (Or, Roman Holiday)

Yesterday's post about my semester in Europe got my memory to a-jogging...

When I was in Rome that Fall (eeesh...fifteen years ago), I got separated from my friends in the Vatican Museum. I ended up wandering outside and decided to wait for them in the Piazza in front of St. Peter's Basilica. I was strapped into my walkman and trying my best to blend in.

After a few mintues of waiting, I was approached by an older man.

A much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much older man.

He rambled and rambled on and on to me in Italian before I could stop him with my best "Uh...I don't speak Italian" in Italian.

Clearly, I can't remember that phrase - I probably barely knew it then.

Anyway, as I stumbed through that sentence, the man immediately switched to speaking English.

"Oh, are you an American?"

"Uh, Yes."

"Oh...what are you doing in Rome?"

The man had a sweet enough face, so I decided to let the conversation unfurl. It seemed innocent enough...until he suggested that I take a walk with him.




Now, I should mention I didn't really wrap up puberty until I was 30. I still have something of a baby face - and back then, I looked...well...I looked like a fetus.

Naturally, I declined his offer...trying to contain my horrified/nauseated/what-the- hell-is-happening feelings, sensing there was a made-for-TV movie scenario heading my way like a dirty, filthy freight train.

He then asked:

"How old are you? Fourteen? Fifteen?"

"No...I'm twenty."

His eyes widened and he said:

"Oh, I thought you were much younger than that."

With that, he then sighed and ciao-ed himself out of the conversation and walked off.

I never could tell if he was disappointed in how old I was...or if he just realized I wasn't a hooker.


hello, my name is danny. said...

um, i guess that was sweet?

i had something like that happen to me except i actually made out with the guy before i declined his invitation to go back to his place.

in hindsight, i'm sure that wasn't the smartest thing to do, but i was young and just coming out of the closet. so it was exciting and kinda salacious at the same time.

just what i needed to have happen so i could figure out my boundaries.

Darth Gateau said...

I had a similar incident in Florence whilst inter-railing when I was 19. Looking back, the guy was probably only in his early 40's and may even have been considered attractive, however, back then he seemed positively prehistoric to me. Sigh. It could have been one of the best experiences I ever had.
Such callow youth...

TWISI said...

The saddest part of that story... the old, old, old, old, old, part....

he was probably our age now.

T$ said...

Guess my tone was a little off in telling this story...

But, the guy who tried to pick me up was in his seventies.

I'm not ageist at all - but there was something decidedly creepy about him.

Tarek said...

the colonnade at st. peter's is notorious for underage male prostitutes

hello, my name is danny. said...

well, the flip-side [ba-dum-bum!] is that i hope to be just as randy in my 70s! well, maybe not so stalker-creepy, though.

T$ said...

danny - like I said, I'm not ageist...had it been sean connery or some other still-smokin 70+ man, I would have been game!

Big Daddy said...

Was it the Pope?

Totally kidding.

I'm going to Hell.


hello, my name is danny. said...

@ T$: mmmmmm!mm!mmmmmmmmmmm! sean connery!

@ big daddy: totally on point! i'll be in rome next year for my brother's wedding so i'll let you know if it was him.

damnit, i'll see you in hell! LOL