Friday, August 14, 2009

Visions of a beautiful Tuscan girl

This entry is about a particular person. A real person. There are others like her, but she stands out in my mind. The image of her is imprinted in my memory, almost like a dream. Not "dreamy," but like a real dream. A dream about the spirit of a person, a real person, but which feels so much like a dream.

I would rather not use her name, so lets just call her Belinda. I was about eleven years old, and it was in the seventies. I had a boyhood friend who had moved to St. Francis Wood, one of San Francisco's most exclusive neighborhoods. It was roughly located in the southwest corner of the city. It was a mini-mansion, constructed in the manner that houses were in the early part of the twentieth century. Rock solid. The walk-in closets were the same size as my bedroom at home. By this time, San Francisco's affluent community had become an odd, and probably unhealthy mix of political ideologies, but in any case was one which didn't really fit the stereotypical image of snobbishness. For example, it wasn't a gated community, and the children more-or-less mixed freely with children from other socio-economic levels in the surrounding areas.

My friend's older sister soon made a new friend in her new neighborhood. Belinda was about seventeen years old, from a wealthy Tuscan-descended family. She was a girl-next-door beauty, with a body type similar to a younger Kate Winslet. About 5'7", and femininely big-boned. Her personality, in hindsight, reminds me of the character "Blair" from the television show 'The Facts of Life, although not quite as gregarious. She dressed in a classy manner, generally wearing light colored clothing, almost always wearing pants, and usually dressed in slightly overly-loose sizes. Probably self-conscious about her weight, and I might add, mistakenly so.

She was just slightly snobbish, yet at the same time she was approachable. In other words, for example, her reaction to something she didn't like could almost induce a grin from a male observer. There was a certain warmth about her, and her behavior was consistent. She was a good young girl, and a good person. Her face was slightly full, perfect ivory skin and features, brown eyes, with thick full-bodied straight dark brown hair. Cute without being "cutsy-looking," but to me, definitely beautiful inside and out. She was like a person that you would wish to get closer with, but are afraid of overstepping your bounds. She seemed to prefer a little space between her and any mild acquaintances, yet again, there was something about her that made one want to get closer. In other words, she was a naturally attractive person who didn't necessarily want the attention.

In hindsight, she really reminds me of those old Italian movies, which always seemed to have that "perfect young Italian woman," which were usually of central Italian (Tuscan or Roman) background. To me, she wasn't overly friendly when we would come into contact, but occasionally surprised me with an affectionate hand on the shoulder, almost like a big sister figure. Although I was too young to understand my feelings, I really liked her. I would look up at her sometimes when she was talking to her friend, speaking with excited expressions about fashion or some other topic that would interest teenage girls, and would sort've blush. Because she wasn't excitable all the time, it added to her beauty when she was.

Although fancy in her manner, there was nothing at all fake about her. She was basically the same person at all times. A very genuine and dignified person. She didn't at all fit the stereotype of what some would call "Italian or Greek," or resembling any other ethnic group. She was a pure-hearted Tuscan girl, probably the most beautiful women in the world. I mean, there are probably women that are more "sexier," but I'm speaking of refined and beautiful women.

I recall one time Belinda's parents drove to a property they owned, and I'm guessing that they had purchased recently. Making the trip were Belinda, her mother, my friend and I, and his sister. I think that her mother was driving just to take a closer look at the property and the old house on it. I think Belinda's father was busy running his business during this weekday during our summer vacation. It was located in what I'm guessing was West Marin Country, which is north of San Francisco on the coast. Although a world away, it was a fairly easy drive from their house, up Nineteenth Avenue, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and up the coast on Highway 1. It must have made a very nice short getaway from the city.

The property, from the best of my memory, was within view of the ocean, in a mountainous area. The ocean view was obstructed most of the time from the woods and heavy brush. I couldn't find any image online which reminded me of Belinda, so I used one of what somewhat resembles the house, and how it looked in the overgrowth. I guess that nobody had been living in the house for a good while. There was a lot of overgrowth, but it had very good potential. It was located in a very unspoiled area, and really nicely tucked away off of the road, but within close proximity of the little town. I don't recall of the exact location, or the name of the town.

When we arrived, we pulled around the side of the house, to a small courtyard area in the back, where the detached garage was. When we got out, the mother opened up the house and the garage door, then went inside to inspect the interior more closely. I suppose to decide what work had to be done. The two groups of us separated, and we explored the general area. A short while later, Belinda came out of the garage. She was dressed down, by her standards. She was with her friend. They seemed to be in a very good mood, probably also seeing the potential in a new place to hang out that summer, and in the future. It's funny to look back as adults, and think about people that we just looked up and stared at when we were children. Belinda wasn't always especially talkative and smiley, but she was at that moment. She was happy. I looked up at her. Her hair looked slightly lighter as the sun glistened between the trees on her. To me, in the purest sense, she was so beautiful. Although a young girl, she could at times have a grand aura around her, like a Florentine Princess.

After that, we had gone off again and hiked for awhile. It was probably 2 P.M. or so now. We were in the house. It was well lighted, with plenty of windows, but the trees kept it shaded. So it was a mix of light and shade in and around the house during a sunny day. The mother was doing some cleaning. We had all stopped in the town a little earlier for lunch. My sense of what happened in chronological order is off a little, as I recall that pleasant day. A short while later, we went out in the backyard again. We walked into the garage. The girls were doing some sweeping. I can recall smirking slightly as I noticed Belinda's expressions of overreaction to the overabundance of dust and dirt. The garage had a separate room, which I'm guessing that Belinda saw some potential in, as a clubhouse of sorts.

I seem to have come to the end of my story. There's no real ending here, but I can say that we should try to look a little harder and closer at those around us. To try to look through the flaws that we all possess, and really see the gems around us and appreciate them. I can think of people in my past that I really wish I would have kept in contact with.

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