Five Days Naked in Italy

by Miles Klee

I had lost all my clothes once before. That was in Oakland, leaping off a Megabus to meet my love after a seven-hour ride from LA, and, in my enthusiasm, forgetting my luggage stowed below, which the driver had dumped on the sidewalk with everyone else’s for retrieval. I realized the mistake moments later, told Mads to turn her car around, but when we returned to the scene, the bus was already gone, while the bag, it seemed, had vanished even more completely.

It’s amazing what you will put up with, having run away from your jobs and chores to get within kissing distance of the person you cannot stop thinking about. We holed up happily in this perfect little hotel in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset, enjoying the secrecy of the fog. On our second day, we got stoned and went to the mall to find me some jeans and a button-down shirt. I called Megabus, traversed their entire automated phone system, and learned that not only will they not tell you what happens to unclaimed luggage, they won’t even say where a bus goes next after it reaches your destination, and are somewhat aggrieved to even hear you ask.

I gave up, mourning what I imagined to be my best date-wear and coziest bedroom fits, but almost a decade later, I can’t remember a single piece of what I lost. It became a mere story—I was so smitten, (un)lucky, absent-minded. Then, last month, after a missed connection for a flight to Rome delayed us an extra seven hours on a marathon journey, the airport baggage carousel failed to disgorge the barely used duffel bag I had packed with all the clothes I imagined to be necessary for a vacation in Italy, or at least for flaunting it on social media.

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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