But then I met an American in Italy — a fellow New York stater — and we fell in love. So after a few weeks at home on Long Island with my parents, I flew to Atlanta to join him for his new Stateside work assignment.
Where do you go when you leave the birthplace of the Italian renaissance? Unless it’s New York or Paris or heaven, you’re in a pickle. No place in Atlanta could match my final apartment in Florence, which had been at the top of a medieval tower with a nearly 360-degree view of the city.
But I learned something about myself during that grieving period. To paraphrase the Italian novelist Antonio Tabucchi, we become fused with the places we inhabit. Somehow, often unbeknownst to us, we carry those places around with us. We don’t ever truly leave them because they don’t ever truly leave us.
His idea resonates especially now because this month, I’ll finish packing up a literary hoarder’s worth of books, articles and mementos from my house in Grant Park and I’ll move to Connecticut to be closer to family. And once that’s done, most likely I’ll never return to Atlanta to live.
Click below to read more about how Bonner’s relationship with Atlanta changed through the years.