As usual in the evenings, I was at the Uffizi, listening to music. It was one of the weekend concert series so an orchestra had played from 9-11 and then the usual guitar player started. It was another beautiful evening, with clear skies and a temperature of about 70 degrees. The breeze off the Arno, and the shape of the Uffizi and the street that runs along the side creates a lovely cool breeze.
On the Uffizi side of the Loggia, there are stairs and people line those early to sit and listen to music. I had been seated for a few hours listening to the concert and many people had come and gone as the night progressed. It is common for people to bring bottles of wine, cans of beer, or gelato for refreshment. A young man had been sitting beside me for a while and he struck up a conversation. He knew some English words, but I knew more Italian, so we had a conversation in Italian. His mother was Italian, and he had lived all over Italy. His father was Greek, and he worked in a Pizzeria nearby as a cook. He had on a baseball cap, jeans and sneakers, which is unusual for Italians, but more common for really young people (25 or younger).
We talked about my studies, (he was complimentary of my Italian), our work, the tourists in Florence, and the music that was playing that evening. The young man’s name was Gabrielle. After about an hour, Gabrielle said that he had a question for me. I waited and he told me that he enjoyed talking to me and liked me very much, and would I like to have sex with him?
Well, I know it was not the response he was looking for, but I couldn’t help it and I burst into laughter! Really, I am not kidding, he just flat out asked me if I wanted to have sex! No kiss, no flirting, just straight up....Would you like to have sex? I felt bad that I started laughing, because I could see the embarrassment and hurt on his face. So I curbed the laughter and told him that his question surprised me and that he was much too young for me. He looked even more offended with that remark and tried to convince me that he was not as young as he looked, he was actually 28 years old. I told him that I was 49 and had a son a year younger than him, and he was not swayed in the least. Can men (or just this one) really have such egos?
We talked for a while longer mostly about why he preferred older women, and how sex in Italy was not so difficult because there are no strings attached.
Like I said, having thought about ths for a few days now, I realize that his approach, with some addition of refinement and subtlety is probably what we have wished for in terms of "no games" and the truth. Is there no happy medium out there?