I would then wander around Rome for several days and fly home.
I would arrive home, remember that I had placed a personal ad, as a lark, before I left Portland, and I would phone the ad to find a number of nice and nervous sounding men recorded on voice mail.
I would then ignore these nice men on voice mail for two days, and go out on a date the sweet but clinically depressed, and grossly unreliable fellow with a math degree from Reed, that I met at a Christmas party and have long tortured phone conversations with my cranky and depressed ex.
After the date, and the conversations, and some rest to get over jet lag, I eventually phoned the most nice and most nervous man of all and invite him to meet me at a cafe- After establishing that this was indeed a weird and unusual thing for both of us.
I was early, he was late, having jogged over and got his jacket caught on something and ripped it.
He arrived out of breath and tattered and even more nervous, than he was on the phone.
I was happy that he was exceedingly normal and had no interest in either jazz or mathematics.
We talked for a long time. The cafe staff made disapproving faces, over our table hoggingness.
After a while, when it became clear that we needed to leave, but didn't want to end the conversation, in an attempt to make myself seem interesting and earthy, I suggested we go to the bird sanctuary on Sauvie Island and in an effort to make himself seem chipper and earthy, he agreed.
Much later we would discover our mutual hatred of nature, and spend all of our time in the city.
After the bird fiasco, we drove back to town to watch Annie Hall at his apartment
(I made sure it was safe, by asking "you aren't an ax murderer are you?)
eat a baguette, drink wine and yak until midnight, at which point he said "this is going to sound creepy, but I just LOVE YOU!"
and I said "you are right, that does sound creepy!" and luckily he laughed.
I went home and phoned the mathematician, and the ex, to say good bye, the next day.
We then decided to have a baby, get married have another baby, and stay together for eleven years.