A few years ago my daughter and I were in Rome on a Sunday morning having breakfast outside a little cafe. The morning glowed in warm sunshine, blue sky framed the wide-open piazza. The only blight on the scene was a middle-aged, pot-bellied drunk (or lunatic) about 30 feet away. He staggered around in baggy pants and a long-sleeve, grey (formerly white) shirt with rolled-up, uneven sleeves, half a shirt-tail hanging out, waving his arms and raging in gravelly, venomous Italian. No one paid any attention, but I kept my eye on him, worried he’d wobble close to us.
Then a little Italian car drove up and four policemen poured out. I’d already noticed that Italian men are handsome, and these were no exception. Tall and thin, wearing light blue shirts and dark pants, these men looked mighty fine with their olive skin against those blue shirts.
When they approached the drunk, he started yelling at them, shaking his fists in a threatening way like he was going to hit one of them. I put my teacup down. “Oh no,” I said to my daughter. I expected these policemen to slam the drunk to the ground, and he’d hit his head on the pavement and he’d be in a pool of blood while they cuffed him, all four of them pinning him down with knees on his various tender parts. Shots might even be fired. I was ready to bolt.