“In their rememberings are their truths.”
— Studs Terkel, Hard Times
Elizabeth (former lover): Let’s just call it karma. Marcello won’t give you what you want. Then he won’t get what he expects. Granted, he’s an awesome lover, far beyond your average Joe in bed. He will make a woman feel like she’s the queen of the world. That feeling, however, will be short-lived. If a woman comes across a man who’s smart, well-dressed, drama-free, and a great fuck, she will fall for that man. But Marcello will never fall back for her. Her heart will be broken. Inevitably. That’s always ground for trouble.
Silvia Lazzaro (Marcello’s psychoanalyst): If you haven’t yet, you should read his stories. They are all about some postmodern version of unrequited love, which is always a great subject, quite appealing to a wide audience. If you become somewhat intimate with him, he will confess about his quiet search for what he likes to call The Grand Love. He can be quite pompous sometimes. I guess it has to do with his Italian background. People from Italy are drama-fed. The Italians invented the opera, mind you. They also perfected the drama which originated with the ancient Greeks. Do you know where Marcello is exactly from? Naples, or Napoli in Italian. Napoli was founded as a Greek colony in the 8th century BC. Do you catch my drift?
Jenny (former lover): He’d speak to you in Italian. He’d call you amore mio. He’d get the doors, pick the tab…
Elizabeth: He’d listen to you, really pay attention to what you’re saying. He’d give you good advice. He will comfort you if you are in distress…
Jenny: He will rarely give you a call, though…
Jordan (former lover): But, he would text-message or email you on a regular basis, just to check on you. And I believe he means it when he says he loves you. Only a man who loves you cares about you.
Yvonne (former lover): Problem is Marcello Rubini can’t commit to a one-and-only woman. I remember how he’d joke about it. In order to justify his refusal to have an exclusive, monogamous relationship he’d say, “Why should I make a woman unhappy when I can make several women happy?”
Bonnie (former lover): Marcello Rubini is afraid of commitment. But he does love women. That’s his paradoxical nature as well as his micro tragedy.
Boris Trucco (friend): I disagree. Marcello is not afraid of commitment. He was married once, he has a daughter. Marcello no longer believes in marriage, though. He often says that wedlock is the tomb of love. Look, the man is a writer, an artist of words, a true free spirit. There’s something distinct about him, he really loves women and can’t get enough of them. He hangs around women all the time. Most of his friends are women. He has so much in common with them. You know why? Because Marcello is in touch with his female side. But he is not gay. This is what makes women so attracted to him.
Elizabeth: Marcello will hypnotize you with his charms. Most women can’t see, however, that he is a self-absorbed asshole. Admittedly, he has class. But he’s an asshole.
Yvonne: The only thing he cares about? His writing career. Marcello uses women as an experiment. The women he seduces will ultimately spur ideas for his stories.
Elizabeth: That’s what makes him so self-absorbed. Get this, he used our three-month relationship to come up with one of his most successful stories, “Final Scene With Elizabeth.” He didn’t have the decency to change my name in that story. That’s fucked up.
Bonnie: He didn’t change my name either. He made me look like I am nuts. It’s not fair.
Boris Trucco: Look, I’ve known Marcello for many years. He’s my friend and my mentor. The women’s names in his stories are merely a coincidence. I can understand if a former lover feels that she’s been sort of story fodder. Granted, his style is sometimes sarcastic, tragicomic, but never contemptuous of women. Also, we must keep in mind that all of his stories are fictional. For instance, he totally made up how he got his dog Beulah. Many of his readers believe it was the female character in “Final Scene With Elizabeth” who gave away Beulah to Marcello. That was not the way it really happened.
Giulia (former lover): Marcello got that dog from me. I left Beulah with him when I had to move from Atlanta to Buenos Aires to start a new job. The funny thing is that Marcello never wrote a story about our relationship.
Boris Trucco: Marcello’s writing is quite simple in its apparent complexity. You realize about this once you get his stories deconstructed. The narrative is not only about his amusing misadventures with women, or the misunderstandings in relationships. Eventually, the reader will find out that at the heart of Marcello’s stories lies the ultimate romantic story, a man’s quest for love.