Mario and Bruno have been partners for 10 years. They are like brothers. Mario the wild one and Bruno more relaxed. They have great chemistry as partners. They have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of Rome. They love their job and love to help their fellow Romans. In March 2020 the coronavirus pandemic came in hot and hit their country hard. After the Prime Minister put the country on lockdown, they wondered how their job would change.
Sure enough, their job has never been the same. No bars are open. No more chit chat after taking a coffee at their favorite bar near the Vatican. They wear masks all day and their faces hurt. Mario has an elderly father and Bruno fears for his grandmothers health. They miss them terribly and wish they could see them.
They are told to check citizens who are out in public. If they do not have a legitimate reason to be out, they are told to fine them. Mario likes his newly acquired power. Bruno feels ridiculous and wonders why they should have to monitor citizens activity. The citizens should police themselves right? Apparently they are incapable of doing so. Mario does not care and often hopes someone disobeys his order.
Bruno fears an uprising of citizens due to being locked in the house for so long. Soon people will not have any money and may resort to violence just to get food. Mario cannot wait for the chaos, he thinks citizens who cannot follow rules deserved to be punished. Bruno does not want to participate in a police state. Before every shift he prays that people remain peaceful. He feels the tension in his city and thinks it is a matter of days before it erupts.
Anna takes the tram to work everyday. She puts her headphones in everyday. She tries to drown out the meaningless conversations she hears nearby. She numbs her mind with music.
Anna likes to have mentally stimulating conversations. She longs for conversations with meaning. Why is there so much hate in the world right now? Why do people reject those with differences? Are people coerced into feeling this way, or is it a natural human instinct to fear the different?
Anna would love to discuss these issues with others, but every time she starts a conversation, a meaningless topic arises. Why does starting a conversation with a controversial topic seem so farfetched today? Anna wants to scream. She prefers the screaming in her ears over the deafening sounds of emptiness.
Just like every 90’s dating profile about me section, Dan likes long walks on the beach. On these walks he ponders one of life’s great questions: How did we get here? Did a God create us, or did we evolve from fish?
Dan gazes into the seemingly infinite Pacific Ocean and cannot fathom humans evolving from fish. He looks to the sky and understands some dude is not controlling the world with puppet strings from above. Dan attempted to understand both theories, but he believes both are extreme.
Dan does not understand why people must know these things. The more he knows; the more life seems to suck. He does know his sandals are super comfortable. Dan admires his huge shadow and continues his walk.
As he wanders around Old Town San Diego, Chin notices the abundance of American flags displayed in front of stores. Even as an American, he cannot come to a rational conclusion as to why people have this obsession with a flag.
What does it mean? Sure, sure, the 50 stars and 13 stripes. But what does it really mean? Freedom? Power? Victory? How do people feel such an emotional attachment to a flag?
Chin has friends that say they would die for this flag. He wouldn’t. Chin is excited to eat tacos later.
This is Roberto. Roberto doesn’t like his photo taken by strangers. He wonders why people take photos of strangers. But then he wonders why he spends all day looking at photos of strangers on his phone.
Roberto tells himself to stop thinking this way. It makes his head hurt. He walks down Via del Corso every day after work and ponders life. Today he asked himself, “Why are we addicted to looking at strangers on our phones but often avoid real social interaction?”
He stopped at Vertecchi on his way home today to buy a notebook. He will start writing about his profound thoughts on his walks home. He hopes it will make his head stop hurting.
This is Giuseppe. Giuseppe sits outside at Bar Gianicolo every morning and enjoys a coffee. Except on the days it rains. Giuseppe does not like rain.
He enjoys the serenity mixed with chaos of the traffic-filled intersection that passes through ancient Roman walls. Something about the mix of societal advancement and antiquity fascinates him. Maybe it is the constant need for humans to preserve their past but inherently disregard their future.
He does not like to think too deeply of societal problems because they make him sad. When he wants a distraction, he begins people watching. Giuseppe likes to make up funny stories of what people might be currently thinking. He laughs internally and sips his coffee.