The mountains were full of marble quarries and there were shops selling alabaster. We used to sit in the square at a café where the waiter looked exactly like photographs of the young Kafka. Iris took a great interest in him. Unlike most Italian waiters, he moved with diffidence, as if uncertain of what he was carrying or where to put it. He seemed to like us, but his smile was distrait, a little tormented, as if he were planning some work he knew he would never finish. His head was always surrounded by wasps, which he made no attempt to brush away, as if they were visible embodiments of the angst within him. "Perhaps he will put us both in one of his stories," said Iris.
John Bayley, Elegy for Iris.