A Homeless Guy and an Illegal Alien Walk into A Park

After this date, immigration rules are just another joke to me

Sangeeta Kalsi
Human Parts
Published in
10 min readFeb 5, 2024

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Me sitting in my sundress at the Horticulture Garden in Florence, Italy. I’ve just spotted the man this article is about to zero in on.

“I really liked the dog from your Tinder profile,” I said to him, looking gingerly around at the baggage he had decided to bring to our date. It’s a first date. Usually people leave their issues — and things — at home for those. He couldn’t.

“Oh, you won’t believe it,” he laughed, setting his guitar down on the cobbled step below us.

“I took him from a beach in Portugal. So cute, isn’t he?”

“You just… took him?” I get a shrug in turn.

“He looked so sad.”

Imagine that.

After having unsuccessfully dated a starving-artist type for a month and a half, I considered returning to the dating scene. It was a situation-ship that left me rubbed raw and reeling. Fortunately — although I was in Florence and only spoke the language up to a lower-intermediate level — there was no shortage of matches on Tinder for me.

As luck would — or wouldn’t — have it, a date was about to show up in my life right at the cut-scene of said situation-ship. To deal with my heartache in the meanwhile, I sought the comfort of a friend. Y’know, like any romantic lead in a rom-com would. My friend Josie* and I visited the horticulture garden with some bottles of wine, a charcuterie board full of different cheeses, cold cuts, and some cake.

After all, what can’t be cured by some wine and cake? So, met in our summer clothes — her in shorts and a button-down, I in my white-and-cherry sundress. We sat on a large mat, unscrewing our wine, and slicing up our cheese.

A view of Florence from the beautiful Horticulture Garden. This is hangout spot for many. This was from a few days after the incident, just to show you how uncommon it is to be alone here.

A few trees away was the next romantic lead. Meet Luca*, a blonde adonis-type with blue-ish eyes and a deep tan. Look at him now, a blond Jesus tightrope-walking with his friend, guitar strewn across their blanket in reckless abandon.

So, he has a nice dog, some hobbies, and plays guitar. That’s not so bad.

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Sangeeta Kalsi
Human Parts

I'm a designer, artist, and writer who writes from a feminist immigrant's lens.