The yellow light fills the arches and creates sharp shadows between the stones. Against the deep blue sky the sight is beautiful. I take a picture although I have already taken more than fifty, and I know that when I get home and develop the photographs, it will not be the same. The feeling will be gone, and each mile between me and the Colosseum will weigh on my heart like a ton of bricks.
And that is what gives me the idea. The part equals the whole and all that, and if I bring home just one brick I can feel close to the Colosseum forever. They will not miss just one brick.
So next day I sign up for another tour and when everyone is looking elsewhere I smuggle one of the loose stones into my rucksack.
When I get home I place the stone on my mantelpiece with a sigh of satisfaction.
And the satisfaction lasts.
For about a year.
Then I travel to Rome again and smuggle home one more stone.
Then one more.
Two more the year after that.
Now bricks of various sizes are scattered all over my living room. But it seems the stones’ and through them my own connection to the Colosseum still only lasts for a year. Perhaps it will not last longer before I have built the entire Colosseum in my backyard.