So I refused to unpack my bag, to let myself get comfortable. Instead I spent my time trying to figure things out. The bathroom mystified me. I couldn’t figure out the roaming shower head, or the hot water influenced solely by the flushing of the toilet. It took me several days alone to sort out the mystery of the light. I was already accustomed to pooping in the dark when I realized, by happenstance, that the light went on only when the door was bolted from the inside.
In the dark, alone, unable to read the newspaper to pass the time, fumbling for the toilet paper that always ran out, I realized, for the first time, that the laws that had always governed my life were slowly but surely evaporating.
Around this time, I the urge to do something I had not done for years: eat McDonald's.
It was a cool April morning. Walking by Termini station, I noticed the odor of McDonald's. I followed the odor, even though I felt vaguely ridiculous crossing the street and standing in the long line snaking out of the restaurant.
The line moved at an unhurried pace. I buried my nose into my guidebook, aware that the blood was rushing up to my cheeks, that I was suffering an acute bout of embarrassment. When I reached the counter and saw the spigot for red wine along with the soda fountain and coffee urn, I felt overwhelmed. The idea that I could simply order wine at McDonald’s, that I could do so in mid-morning, and that I could drink the wine on the street inspired in me true, vivacious joy.
I had no idea how to behave, so I pretended I was in a hurry, gulping my espresso in one scalding hot sip. Then I stepped onto Via Montbello and walked up the street, my tongue swelling, and continued walking for some time until, somehow, I found myself back on Via Montbello, in an utter panic, because I had no idea how to get back to the Termini station.
Then I sat on a stoop, put my head on my knees, and fell in and out of sleep.
I didn't know it then, but (thankfully) I was experiencing my last McDonald's hangover.
No way Anita Ekberg ate McDonald's