Anthony Parma was resting on the balcony of his nephew’s apartment near the Università di Bologna, the oldest university in the world.
He wore a heavy sweater and his legs were protected against the crisp November air by a brightly colored knitted blanket.
His nephew Felice’s wife, Paola, stepped lightly onto the balcony and handed the old man a steaming cup of rich hot cocoa before silently withdrawing.
Taking a careful sip, Parma set the cup gently on a tiny white iron filigree table and continued to gaze out upon Bologna’s famous central towers. His years in New York City, with that city’s rigidly perpendicular skyscrapers, had trained him to expect the same geometric accuracy in all buildings.
As he gazed upon the two towers before him his eyes strained to correct the buildings’ slight leaning and pull them upright. It was an interesting sensation, rather like trying to see the three dimensional images in those Magic Eye books which were once so popular.
Anthony Parma delighted in any new sensation remaining to him in this life.
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