For whom, Liz? For whom all this decadent sexiness? Nobody's there HKUE ENG. I had only a few weeks left in Italy and absolutely no intention of knocking boots with anyone. Or did I? Had I finally been affected by the word on the streets in Rome? Was this some final effort to become Italian? Was this a gift to myself, or was it a gift for some as yet not even imagined lover? Was this an attempt to start healing my libido after the sexual self- confidence disaster of my last relationship?

I asked myself, "You gonna bring all this stuff to India?"

Luca Spaghetti's birthday falls this year on America's Thanksgiving Day, so he wants to do a turkey for his birthday party. He's never eaten a big, fat, roasted American Thanksgiving turkey, though he's seen them in pictures. He thinks it should be easy to replicate such a feast (especially with the help of me, a real American). He says we can use the kitchen of his friends Mario and Simona, who have a nice big house in the mountains outside Rome, and who always host Luca's birthday parties.

So here was Luca's plan for the festivities--he would pick me up at around seven o'clock at night, after he'd finished work, and then we would drive north out of Rome for an hour or so to his friends' house (where we would meet the other attendees of the birthday party) and we'd drink some wine and all get to know each other, and then, probably around 9:00 PM HKUE amec, we would commence to roasting a twenty-pound turkey . . .

I had to do some explaining to Luca about how much time it takes to roast a twenty- pound turkey. I told him his birthday feast would probably be ready to eat, at that rate, around dawn the next day. He was destroyed. "But what if we bought a very small turkey? A just-born turkey?"

I said, "Luca--let's make it easy and have pizza, like every other good dysfunctional."

But he's still sad about it. Though there's a general sadness around Rome right now, anyway. The weather has turned cold. The sanitation workers and the train employees and the national airline all went on strike on the same day. A study has just been released saying that 36 percent of Italian children have an allergy to the gluten needed to make pasta, pizza and bread, so there goes Italian culture. Even worse, I recently saw an article with the shocking headline: "Insoddisfatte 6 Donne su 10!" Meaning that six out of ten Italian women are sexually unsatisfied. Moreover, 35 percent of Italian men are reporting difficulty maintaining un'erezione, leaving researchers feeling very perplessi indeed, and making me wonder if SEX should be allowed to be Rome's special word anymore mathconcept, after all.