I suffer from a benign form of schizophrenia, which began on 17 September 1986. On that day, a little under half my life ago, I left my native United States and moved to England. The plan was to earn a two-year degree at Oxford, where I had chanced on a scholarship, then return. But two years stretched to three, after which I went to Seville to study classical guitar, worked in London and then in Berlin shortly after the Wall, and traveled in Latin America. In 1993 I moved to Italy, where I have lived ever since.
Silently, by degrees, something inside me has changed. Mind you, I am still an American. I have the frumpy blue passport with the gold eagle on it, and feel no need of another. I still eat boxed cereal for breakfast, root loudly for U.S. athletes in the Olympics, believe in the merit of a meritocracy, and harbor a vaguely puritanical faith in the cleansing o=power of strenuous exercise. Certainly, I am no Italian. I have poor taste in clothes, a violent aversion to siestas, and still cannot manage spaghetti without a mess. Yet with time, parts of me have come to feel very much at home here. It now seems more natural to address dogs and small children in Italian, I find I sleep better in structures built of ancient stone. And while I still convert Celsius to Fahrenheit in my head, snap judgments of cost, length and weight now come in euros, meters, kilos, When I travel to the States these days, I