I sat there upon the white stone steps looking out upon the terra cotta roofs of Firenze, Brunelleschi’s Dome rising majestically over the cityscape. Beyond the limits, beyond the Basilica de San Lorenzo and the distant cathedrals, the blue mountains stretched in all directions cradling the spires, swallowing the Arno, setting my heart a flutter. I beheld the site with such solemn intimacy, a private rapture of awe and grace. I laughed quietly, not wishing to bring attention to myself. All around me lovers sat, lapping gelato and focaccia, holding hands, taking selfies. I thought of her, and my heart swelled with a tenderness that to this day lingers with the same sweet melancholy. In the solitude of my being I felt a deep loneliness, a longing of insatiable proportion. To the south, the olive strewn hills of noblemen rose and fell, their stone walls serpentining unto expansive gardens. My heart rose with them, and I sensed something sloughing from my soul onto the marble ground of the Piazzale. As I stood to make the descent back into the city square, I felt a duel twinge of delight and sadness brewing in me. Such was the manner in which I traipsed the European countryside, sullen, vulnerable, twitching with excitement, longing for a companionship I found only with myself and my innermost secrets. Even now as I’ve returned stateside, to the snow and the bitter blue gusts of Kansas City, I cannot help but feel contained, depressed and anxious, in the same fragile reverie.