The Italian Job

Last week The Artist quit.

No, not so. He had a pleasant exchange with our boss, emerged from the office, and quietly declared his imminent journey to Italy. And that was it. Now he’s closing up shop in New York and moving to Florence. He was born in New Jersey. He speaks about ten words of Italian. But some family is there and, of course, his girlfriend.

So that’s it. He’s packing up his studio and moving his life and his cat to Europe while the rest of us bitch about the L and the economy and longer winter hours. And somehow we’re okay with this?

“Yet for all the depression no one ever quit. When someone quit, we couldn’t believe it. ‘I’m becoming a rafting instructor on the Colorado River,’ they said. ‘I’m touring college towns with my garage band.’ We were dumbfounded. It was like they were from another planet. Where had they found the derring-do? What would they do about car payments? We got together for going away drinks on their final day and tried to hide our envy while reminding ourselves that we still had the freedom and luxury to shop indiscriminately.”

–Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End


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