I am deafened by stories in Venice.
At each opening window, fragments of an opening dialogue can be heard (even by those like me who speak no Italian). A father lectures a flirtatious daughter who will inevitably disobey him. An old widow is lost in memory, and tells her guest (a reluctantly dutiful nephew, perhaps) a story of when she was young and beautiful. Or a moustachioed officer with the touch of grey at his temples discusses a duel he fought with the son of the man he killed.
Just around the corner of each deserted alleyway is a crucial character who must be followed – a girl with long flowing hair in a backless top, an old merchant who cheated me from my fortune many years before, the friend I left for dead long ago on a distant battlefield. Everytime I sit down, the view in front of me becomes the first few pages of a novel, the first thousand words of a short story.
But there are no endings to be found here. Venice is a city where stories begin and do not end.