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Imagined Life in an Uncrowded Scene

In early April the bus from Lecce unloads us at the fabled fish market. The place is shuttered down, not even the scent of chowders past lingering in the air. The only hint of June’s full fare is one slight stall where we might taste the slimmest feast from the sea. Our pre-season stroll through the town finds the walkways of Gallipoli totally negotiable, no clump of photographers enthralled by weathered or whitewashed walls selects, collects, and edits images while others still in line are stalled. From the piazza we look down upon the moored boats, a fleet of white and blue at rest, sails furled. The slips are full, all expectant still. No one putters with paint or repairs a necessary cloth in this week before the moveable feast. On the beach’s sand and seawrack where summer’s bodies will soon arrive, accumulate and over- lap in ever-increasing heat, a single person, a young man, and his dog are the only creatures. Their toss/fetch game is photographed. In the Mercato, nothing is for sale; but its facilities require no wait, leaving us time for questing tongues to lick a taste of the local gellati on a bench before the patient sea until the bus beckons us to leave.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2019




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