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Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman Read Online (FREE)

Guido, vorrei che tu e Lapo ed io

fossimo presi per incantamento,

e messi ad un vascel, ch’ad ogni vento

per mare andasse a voler vostro e mio.

Guido, I would that Lapo, thou, and I

Led by some strong enchantment, might ascend

A magic ship, whose charmed sails should fly

With winds at will, where’er our thoughts might wend.

How very true, I thought. Oliver, I wish that you and I and all those we’ve held dear might live forever in one house…

Having muttered his sotto voce verses, he would slowly resume his glaring, misanthropic stance until another tourist tossed him a coin.

E io, quando ’l suo braccio a me distese,

ficcaï li occhi per lo cotto aspetto,

sì che ’l viso abbrusciato non difese

la conoscenza süa al mio ’ntelletto;

e chinando la mano a la sua faccia,

rispuosi: “Siete voi qui, ser Brunetto?”

Soon as he touched me, I could no more avert

Mine eyes, but on his visage scorched and sered

Fixed them, until beneath the mask of hurt

Did the remembered lineaments appear.

And to his face my hand inclining down,

I answered, “Ser Brunetto, are you here?”

Same scornful look. Same rictus. The crowd dispersed. No one seemed to recognize the passage from the Fifteenth Canto of the Inferno where Dante meets his former teacher, Brunetto Latini. Two Americans, who had finally managed to fish out a few coins from their knapsack, tossed Dante a hail of tiny coins. Same glowering, pissed-off stare:

Ma che ciarifrega, che ciarimporta,

se l’oste ar vino cia messo l’acqua:

e noi je dimo, e noi je famo,

“ciai messo l’acqua

e nun te pagamo.”

What do we care, why do we give a damn

If the innkeeper watered down our wine.

We’ll just tell him, and we’ll just say:

“You’ve added water, and we won’t pay.”

Oliver couldn’t understand why everyone had burst out laughing at the hapless tourists. Because he’s reciting a Roman drinking song, and, unless you know it, it’s not funny.

I told him I’d show him a shortcut to the bookstore. He didn’t mind the long way. Maybe we should take the long way, what’s the rush? he said. Mine was better. Oliver seemed on edge and insisted. “Is there something I should know?” I finally asked. I thought it was a tactful way of giving him a chance to voice whatever was bothering him. Something he was uncomfortable with? Something having to do with his publisher? Someone else? My presence, perhaps? I can take perfectly good care of myself if you prefer to go alone. It suddenly hit me what was bothering him. I’ll be the professor’s son tagging along.

“That’s not it at all, you goose.”

“Then what is it?”

As we walked he put an arm around my waist.

“I don’t want anything to change or to come between us tonight.”

“Who’s the goose?”

He took a long look at me.

We decided to proceed my way, crossing over from Piazza Montecitorio to the Corso. Then up via Belsiana. “This is around where it started,” I said.