Long and Short Trip (Shlomi Ron – 2010)

The magic of cinema as you know can sometimes inspire you to tell your own stories. Here is a short story I wrote a few years ago as a tribute, a tad futuristic, to a particular masterpiece by director Alberto Lattuada.
Can you guess the film?


Grahame was riding the bus looking aimlessly out the window. It was almost dusk. The fleeting lights of the zooming cars below reminded him of an old film he saw the other night, where the protagonist was encased in a wooden box flown to New York, terrified he was staring through the cracks and seeing moving thin light streaks indicating movement into the unknown.

The bus was full of people, weary after a long workday, or so it seems. He took out his cellphone and kept clicking Rome. A red blinking response came back glaring at him:

Rome is currently booked solid for the next 2 hours.
* Standby Alert System is now active *

The bus reached the end of the tour in a transportation theme park of some centuries ago. He got off the bus, Claudia was waiting on the platform.

“How was it?” She asked all smiles.
“Pretty cool considering I had more time to think about our plan for tonight. Ready to go?”
“Can’t wait” She replied.
“Good. However, we may need to wait a while for Rome, unless you prefer going somewhere else like say Sydney which is available?” He asked.
“I’d rather not” she replied decisively. “We have already planned this and besides, tonight should be special.”
“Fair enough” he said as his cellphone all of a sudden started chirping. He quickly glanced at it and his face immediately lit up with a green glow emanating from the device display:

Standby Alert System says:
2 spots are now available in Rome

“You won’t believe this! We can actually go now!” Ready?
Let’s do it! She concurred.
Here we go! He announced gingerly clicking the Accept button and with one hand holding Claudia’s hand.


A purple burst of light engulfed them both and a moment later they were already strolling in Campo di Fiori on their way to celebrate their one-year anniversary at Nino’s – they received a recommendation from Jason, Grahame’s friend at work: “Nino’s is the best, especially when the whole world and his sister are putting Rome at full capacity pretty much 24/7, you gotta know where to go if you luck up on spots. The food is great and the waiters are kind.”

The evening was softly idling away and three hours and two gellati later they were back home, comfortably tucked in their bed, appreciating their good fortunes and trying to imagine traveling by bus. “I guess you eventually get there,” Grahame pondered. “Yep, but we all know the destination is much more interesting than the long way to get there…” Confirmed Claudia before closing her eyes pleasantly relaxed.

By Shlomi Ron

Visual marketing guy with a penchant for fine Italian cinema.

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