Elvio and his vehicles
Elvio was my buddy during the Naples years. The thing I loved most about Elvio was that though everyone thought he was My Boyfriend, he was in reality: Not My Boyfriend. The thing I loved second most was that as long as everybody thought he was My Boyfriend, he had the decency to be handsome, molto simpatico, and hilariously funny. He was thin, but not in an anorexic kind of way. He wore a perpetual look of amusement on his face, had thick wavy black hair, and a compulsion to twirl the corners of his mustache between his thumb and forefinger.
Grazie, Elvio, for being there next to me so that all those tiresome other boys would look elsewhere.
The thing I love third most about Elvio was that having him made it possible to go out with the person I really wanted to be with, namely Lucia. Lucia had become horribly unavailable to me since she'd started going out with the loathsome Paolo.
This way I got to hang out with my two favorite people, Lucia and Elvio -- though unfortunately nothing could be done about having to endure Paolo.
Elvio had the car that most other Italians had then, which was a Fiat 500. Though these Fiats were the size of washing machines, there was no limit to how may Italians could stuff themselves into one -- at which point they would roll up all the windows to protect against la corrente, and light their cigarettes.
Later I can explain how it is that half the population of Italy was conceived in these cars. Remind me. But at the moment the topic is vehicular safety -- which I would gladly continue with presently if not for the fact that I've run out of time.