I spend the vastness of this first day in the city of earlier dreams exploring the Vatican basilica. The roads have no lines painted on their slick surface and the vehicles plunge like serpents around each other and their pedestrian prey. I hope that I'm of the cricket variety despite being mostly one-legged, but I don't plan to stay still long enough to find out. The first thrill of the obelisk is ground somewhat by scaffolding and great swathes of humanity baking in the sultry air. But the interior is something built for a dragons conceit, cavernous arches and scooped halls shot through with mosaic and gold, sunlight lancing in from immense windows carved high into the walls. But still the feeling that all of it is built as a vessel, something to fill. I wish I could enjoy this alone and empty. I retreat up to the cupola, threading my way slowly from the bowels up into the bright.
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