The Italian Connection (2007)

The Italian Connection

A Perry St. Laurent Adventure

I sat in Milan at a quaint little coffeehouse, that few have visited and even fewer had ever heard of, waiting for my contact. She was running late and I had time to fill, so I loitered there basking in the warm Italian sunlight. It was a pleasant day, not much of a rush to do anything in particular, and I was beginning to like the leisure life. Seemed to suit me well.

Up until that point, I had done all for the money. I had never really taken into consideration the other aspects, due to always having a time constraint, and now found myself reassessing why I was doing what I was doing. Indeed, I found myself wondering if it was truly the money I was after. Or was it something else? Or was there something else behind my doing it?

Suddenly, it hit me. The money didn’t matter. Sure, I was making more dollars than sense, but it wasn’t the money I liked. I liked the freedom. I liked the travel. I liked the experiences. I liked…well, I liked everything I did. The money was just an added bonus. It helped me go from point A to point B and live in the places I was while I was there.

But it was everything else that I did that kept me doing my job. I’d seen places I’d only dreamed of seeing when I was a kid. I’d learned things that only first-hand experience could teach. I made friends everywhere I’d gone and whom I kept in contact with ever since. I had found a life that I was suited to. No factory, no office, no other form of work could give the satisfaction I felt every time I turned in another piece to my agent. Of course, every article was for a magazine or newspaper, but it was satisfying to educate people with first-hand experiences.

My life was what I wrote about. Whether it be while among the people of some African tribe, or out in the middle of Siberia. I wrote from my own, unique perspective. I wrote about what I came to know, not what some idiot said was true. I knew. There was no doubt that I knew. I lived it. I didn’t have to make assumptions. I didn’t have to make excuses for some erroneous and bigoted remark. I wrote as if I were one of those whom I lived with.

While I sat musing, in satisfaction, my contact arrived. She’d been held up by another appointment, but it didn’t matter. I was no longer working against my time restraints; I was now working on my own time. I was through working for the money. I left a tip for the server, though I probably shouldn’t have, and then got up to leave. It had been a wonderful two-hour wait and I was now ready to face the world…