1997

There was this group of American kids on the steps outside the Venice train station;

each had a bottle of wine she was drinking, each was sitting next to her backpack.

It was 9 in the evening

or so,

we guessed they were planning where to sleep for the night.

Christiane said “I can’t imagine doing what they’re doing— I could imagine it a few years ago, but not now.”

I said “If they could afford hotels, they couldn’t imagine doing what they’re doing.”

They were 20, 21, looked like they were having fun, smiles and shouts and post-teenage posturing. Girl 1 said she was going to be famous in 5 years, girl 2 said she wanted to be a rock star, girl 3 thought maybe she’d be peeling potatoes.

Swiggin from big-ass bottles of red italian wine, i’m sure they’re all wrong.

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