Tableaux Vivants

Fontana di Trevi, Rome.

A soprano sings an aria from La Traviata just prior to the unveiling of the Fontana di Trevi. The music swells and the curtain lifts, and I am struck breathless. The massive figure of Neptune stands in his sea chariot astride a foaming wave. A trick of lighting makes the moving, pale green plastic look for all the world like water rushing over rocks and falling from pool to pool. And my son, a Roman god, is taming a wild steed in the churning waters. The bulge of his gymnast's shoulders I recognize. His torso is twisted just enough to leave his manliness a mystery. Turned toward me, the bottom I powdered religiously when he was a baby--prone to diaper rash--round as country loaves, greased luminescent white, like wet Carrara marble. He is magnificent. I am awash with awe, and wish Richard were beside me.