Pietro and Paola

            Pietro and Paola (1999)

Rome 1945
Spotlight on Mario.  Mario is an Italian newspaper vendor.

Mario:  Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it!  Mussolini has been ousted by the partisans.  Fashion week starts at La Piazza della Scala.  Extra!  Extra!

(Mario acknowledges the audience)

Mario:  What are you doing here?  Who are all these people?  Well, now that we are here let me tell you a story.  Ten p.m.  La Strada della Putani in the outskirts of Rome.  This street is where vagabonds and whores meet.  It’s a cold winter’s day but the prostitutes continue to risk a cold and continue to wear their little skirts.

Voice:  Hey slut!  Take it up the ass!

Mario:  See what I’m saying…Let the story be told by itself.  Paola, age unknown.  Place of birth, unknown.  Her parents, unknown.  That’s why they call her Paola Anonima. 

Paola:  What a misery!  What is happening?  All the men they want the same!  To fuck!  What a tragedy.  But I don’t complain.  I’m a respectful woman.  I have a house that I bought with my own money.  Men are dogs and life is barbarian.  But I’m still very respectable.  My shoes are torn.  But they are of the best category.  My purse is Gucci.  I am a great lady.

Mario:  Pietro.  Do you know him?  You can find him at the corner of Via Veneto and la strada del Popolo.

Pietro:  Socks!  Socks!  Socks of the best category!  Ladies and gentlemen!  Buy Pirelli socks!  My name is Pietro Primo Maggiore.  I lived in Rome for twenty-three years.  I like Rome.  The people.  I don’t have a problem.  I own an Alfa Romeo of the latest model.  Money is not a problem.  I live life at the moment.  How do I get my money?  That’s easy.  You rob, you kill, you take it up the ass.  It’s not important.  I’m a real man. I do it only for the money.  Socks!  Socks!  (Pietro sells a sock)  My work is hard and so is my penis.  Let’s go find a prostitute.

Pietro rides his car to la Strada della Prostituti and picks up Claudia.

Mario:  It’s ten o’clock in the morning.  Paola is having a double espresso at Il Caffe Crostini.

Pietro:  Is this Café Crostini?

Paola:  Yes it is.

Pietro:  What is your name?

Paola:  Paola and you?

Pietro:  Pietro.  Your face shows the pureness of your soul.  You are a beautiful woman.  I can tell you are a respectable woman. 

Paola:  What do you work doing?

Pietro:  I work downtown in financing.

Paola:  Oh!  Financing…financing.  That’s interesting. 

Pietro:  I like you so much.  I want to take you out tomorrow afternoon.  Please say yes?

Paola:  Tomorrow?  I’m very busy.  I have a date with my friend that works at the German embassy.

Pietro:  Please do me this favor.

Paola:  Well.  O.K.  Tomorrow.

Pietro: Tomorrow afternoon.  Café della Stella.  Piazza degli Fiori.  Bye Paola.

Paola:  Bye Pietro.

Mario:  Let’s take a minute for reflection.  What does Pietro see in Paola?  Is she as pure as he thinks?  She looks pretty decent but does he know who she really is?  And Paola…She’s so desperate to believe what anybody tells her.  She needs to get out of her misery.  I don’t know what you think but my opinion is that Paola is blinded by love.  What do you think?

Paola’s house.  Paola tells her friend about Pietro.

Claudia:  So Paola, who is this guy?

Paola: This guy is the maximum.  He studied in the University of Milan.  He is a very important person.  He has business in the government.  And so much style.  He is a fancy person.  And tomorrow he is taking me to an expensive restaurant. 

Claudia:  Your story is beautiful but do not be fooled.  The day he finds out you are a prostitute it will be ruins.

Paola:  Ruins!  Ruins.  Everything is a ruin.  My life is ruins.   What misery.  I believe in love.  I do believe.

Phone rings.  Ring, ring, ring

Paola:  Hello?

Pietro:  Hello.  I cannot stop thinking about you. 

Paola:  The same thing has happened to me. 

The song begins.  Pietro proposes matrimony.  Paola runs back to Claudia.

Paola:  I knew.  I knew it!  Pietro is an angel in my life.  He asked me to marry him.  Finally married. 

Caudia:  (crying) Paola, Paola.  It is a miracle.  No more misery.

Paola:  Soon a miracle will come to you too.  Married.  Married.  Married.

Mario:  Paola and Pietro arrange a meeting for the next day to get married.  Pietro promises Paola to buy her a house in a little village next to the sea. 

Pietro:  Now we will go to get married but first I want to take you on a ride to the mountain I like. 

Paola:  Where?

Pietro:  The mountain Fiorentino.

Paola:  Hey!  Where are we going?  This is a very desolate place.  You are not trying to take advantage?

Pietro:  I treat you with great respect.  Let’s go.

Mario:  Pietro finds the most desolate place in the mountains and takes her there.

Paola:  Where are you taking me?

Pietro:  Don’t you worry.  With me you are safe.

Paola:  O.K.

Pietro:  You are as fragile as a little bird.  How great is life.  I was alone for so long I almost lost the illusion of life and now I found it.  I am finally happy. 

Paola:  Oh Pietro.  Tell me this is not a fantasy.  A story of fairies.  You do not know me.  You do not know what I have done.  You know nothing about me. 

Pietro:  I want to know nothing.   I do not want to know anything about your past.  Everyone is a sinner.  I do not care.

Paola:  I love you.  I love you.

Pietro: I love you.  I love you.

Paola:  This is two million lire.  I sold my house and everything I owned.  Now it is all ours.

Pietro:  Paola, look.  A tear. 

Paola:  Yes.  A tear.

Pietro:  This teardrop is not from pain or sadness.  It is a symbol of the happiness that I feel for you.   I’m sorry, a question please.  How much money did you say you invested in our marriage?

Paola:  Two million lire.

Pietro:  (Grabs the money)  Stupid!  Believer!  Imbecile!  You will be a slut for the rest of your life.  You represent the dirt of the city.  You are like a fly that can’t fly!

Paola:  A fly!

Pietro:  A dog that can’t bark.  An elephant without teeth.  You are wine with the taste of vinegar.  You are a slut and I am a millionaire.  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!

Paola:  Sob.  Sob.  Sob.

                                                      The End


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