Guide Il posto più strano dove mi sono innamorata (Italian Edition)

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Sembra un operaio nottambulo, con quella borsa appesa sul manubrio. La casa dei Cavoli, nella Ciudad. Detraggo dalla tua quota. The Cashier resides in the ofice, forced to work through the day and hold night hours: he dreams of a job with a construction irm, as an accountant. Usually, there is a private guard on duty in the Ofice.

But at this moment the private is downstairs, crouching, and hoping that the nut-job shooting from the garden will come forward.

Il posto più strano dove mi sono innamorata

When he sees the gun come through the door, followed by a yellow monster with red teeth, a poorly colored Satan on his face, the Ca- shier faints. The money, in the open wall safe. They grab and run. The toilet window, on the ground loor. The surrounding wall. Cain ires a shot as he climbs. The private runs outside, through the immobile players, just as a grenade explodes on the right, and two well-parked cars are blown up. A Czeck bomb falls among the tables: a huge explosion, people running away with their jackets on ire.

The private dives to the ground, his hands on his head. A war has started. Shrub did a good job, with the bombs from the surrounding wall. The Hunchback races the Simca for four crazy kilometers of country roads. Up to a farmhouse, at the edge of a vineyard. Smell of mold, and rot. A quick split. Thirty for Moses. Fifteen for Cain, Hunchback and Shrub. Another ive for Cain for the guns he bought, and is now taking away again with the stolen Simca.

He drives it into the swamp, almost right away. He comes out of the water with wet feet. Grabs a bicycle. He looks like a night-shift worker, with his bag hanging on the handlebars. Or a farmer who has gotten up very early. The Cab- bage house, in the Ciudad. There is a smell of cat piss now. Give me half of what I paid for them.

Voci e coretti che citano forse, Simon e Garfunkel? Quando giocano col sud del continente Sandinista, una band di New York? Autoironia, citazioni, una morbida allegria. No: che razza di eroe sarebbe Rockmusic, Clash. Come avere le fanfare alla inestra, per Caino addormentato.

Alle otto del mattino. Bisogna mangiare. Terzo Pulmann. Una specie di Maratona del mattino, con le note della banda dei carabinieri, nella testa. E lo stomaco vuoto. Pasta-cappuccino-corsa, ultimi dieci metri a passo lento per recuperare il respiro, digerire la pasta, preparare le parole. Non sono ancora le nove: puntualissimo.

Voices and choir that quote maybe Simon and Garfunkel? When they play with the south of the continent … with only the slightest bit of irony. Sandinista, a band from New York? Self- mockery, quotations, a soft cheerfulness. Self-mockery… No: what sort of a hero is he … or, maybe? A military band, a sort of parade for an anniversary, a national holiday, from Mrs. Like having trumpets at the window for a sleeping Cain. At eight in the morn- ing. A breathless dash to catch the eight-thirty bus, after a shower and a growling stomach - a real shock, for the shits - and then get- ting off at the piazza running to catch the other bus, always tense and a stomach ache.

I have to eat. A third bus. A sort of morning marathon, with the notes of the police band in my head. And an empty stomach. Croissant-cappuccino-dash off, the last ten meters at a slow pace to catch my breath, digest the croissant, and get my words in line. Type: wicked but honest woman: she doled out punches to the unpleasant ones with the same discipline and defended her extraordinary twenty-year old chastity.

Cain is in love. It is allowed, within the limits allowed a Cain: keeping an eye on the knife. Nothing more. Neither Cain nor Anyone else. Actually: Cain is the dearest of friends. Having said all this, what is left is the most important, at least for Cain: Daisy Duck is quite a dish: a woman of perfect propor- tions, movements, voices, eyes, class, everything. The bed could turn into quite a mess. Paperina, non ci sta. Giornata di riposo. Loro, non sudano. Corrono, affianco al mare, ancora quasi vuoto: i cittadini, si svegliano tardi, la domenica.

Ore dieci: Paperina ha voglia di fare una nuotata, e stoppa in un tratto fra mare e pineta, e si sveste di corsa. Nuovamente, correre. Lei, sempre dieci metri avanti. Una maledetta campionessa di nuoto. Ore undici e trenta: il momento beato di Caino. Popolo di merda. Lenti come lumache, e viscidi e imbroglioni. Day of rest. In the warm June of these parts: the sirocco makes every step heavy and sweaty. They run along the still mostly empty sea: people wake up late on sundays. Beach time is at noon. Again, at a run.

Everything off, lying, and she is already in the water, laughing. She, always ten meters ahead. A damned swimming champion. They come out of the water, unfurl the towels, stretch out in the sun. Thirty seconds later, Daisy Duck is wide awake and is point- ing to some blondish guy who seems to be German: he walks to the water leaving behind unguarded a leather wallet a pair of shoes and a sort of rubber bag with beach wear.

The Nazi has to stop - time enough to call the police, because one of His fucking bullets hit a tire. Fucking people. Slow like snails, and slimy crooks. Caino preferisce colpire al buio, e con molti ripari. Queste mattane gli scassano il sistema nervoso. Le vanno, le azioni di coraggio. Lei lo molla al volo a un passo da casa, e corre a rifugiarsi, in un posto sicuro, per un mese buono.

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Una maledetta banda dei carabinieri, in testa. Almeno fino a domani. Repubblica ha rivelato che lo ascoltano a Parigi, a Londra e nelle capitali dello spettacolo. Grazie, Repubblica, che dai cibo alla nostra fame. Buona salsa, naturalmente. Il raccontino cerca di rispettare la punteggiatura della musica. Il ritmo, numerabile. Sabato mattina, visita parenti. Ha le bocche di lupo, le garitte di guardia, le mura di cinta, i fucili mitragliatori puntati. Cain, is a cold chill, nerves, fear.

Cain prefers to hit in the dark, and plenty of cover. These sorts of outbursts wreak havoc with his nerves. And they are going to give him a stomach ulcer. Daisy Duck is calm. She goes for gutsy things. She lets him off on the ly near his place, and goes off to hide, in a secure place, for a good month. He will take a trip. Maybe, Paris. With the light that leaves in an hour. A damned band of police, ahead. At least until tomorrow. By the way: Manu Dibango has become rather important.

The newspaper La Repubblica said that they listen to him in Paris, in London and all the entertainment capitals. Thank you Repubblica, for feeding our hunger. Good sauce, of course. This little story tries to respect the musical syncopation. Its rhythmic beats. Saturday morning, family visitation. It has basement windows, sentry tow- ers, surrounding walls, machine guns at the ready. According to popular tales, the architect who dreamed it up, and the engineer who built it, both died suicides, after they saw the end product.

A disgusting prison: no even the bandit Mesina was able to escape from here. Piccolo entra nel portone alto fatto per mettere paura. Piccolo ci ha le palle, ma le porte che si chiudono lo fanno tremare. Dieci minuti, cogli occhi del mitra a un passo e mezzo. Mammai sa vivere con gioia. La cicatrice e gonia, e viola. La passeggiata! Due ergastoli, deve scontare. Due, i cristiani ammazzati. Primo, Babbai. Squarciato col coltello grande di cucina e trascinato sotto il ico del cortile: macellato come si deve, prima di darlo a mangiare al maiale.

Mammai recita la solita litania di lamentele: niente tele a colori, in cella, e puzza di piscia di donna gravida. E rancido di donne sporche. Dice che non riesce a farne a meno. No- stalgia. II mondo, dico io, ci ha il culo al posto della testa. Piccolo has balls, but the closing doors scare him. Ten minutes, with the eyes of the machine gun a step and a half away. Mammai knows how to enjoy life. The scar is swollen, and purple. Souvenir of a pruning hook, when the family was together, and Babbai still living liked to prune every now and then, in the euphoria of good wine.

A walk! She has to serve two life sentences. Two, the good christian souls killed. First, Babbai. Ripped open with a large kitchen knife and dragged under the ig tree in the courtyard: butchered clean, before being fed to the hog. The sausages were good that year: all meat and anise, no fat at all. Babbai was a pig and a drunkard, he had been tender only once, just once, in his whole mortal and immortal life, after the hog had digested him. They put Gigliola in isolation.

I think the world has its asshole in place of its head. And yesterday she went crazy, instead of banging her head on the wall she banged it against a guard. Thirty days of therapy for that. Oh, anche gli sbirri, sembrano budino. Gente di nulla. A lei piacevano gli sbirri di un tempo. Ha persino nostalgia, di quello che aveva resistito quattordici minuti di orologio, ai suoi cazzotti. Ah, era un uomo. Era successo quando Mammai si era arram- picata sul tetto, a respirare.

Grandi come angurie e bianche come formaggio fresco. Al quindici era morto. Cosi, il direttore aveva dato ordine che attendessero, e lei era tornata quando era venuto il buio. Era tornata. Ha paura di tornare a casa: non riuscirebbe a dormire, per nostalgia di Mammai. Cosi non spreca il tempo. Aveva le labbra rosse ributtanti di una zingara. Altri avrebbero dovuto, da tanto. E tanto, meritava. Comprava le anime, per strada. Oh, no! He almost died because of a head-butt; he quit and is looking for work as a bricklayer.

Good for nothings. She like the old-fashioned guards. She is even nostalgic, of the one who had resisted her punching him out for a good fourteen minutes. Ah, he was a man. It happened when Mammai had crawled up onto the roof, just to get a breath of air. Huge like watermelons and white like rounds of fresh cheese. That guard, the one of the four- teen minutes, had climbed up on the roof and wanted to take her down.

At the ifteenth he was dead. The warden had then ordered everyone to wait, and she had come back when it turned dark. She came down. It was cold, on the roof. Bring me the Grand Hotel magazine. He lets himself be tempted by a car stereo. Then another. So as not to waste time.

Sure: I killed the woman. She had the red disgusting lips of a gypsy. Someone else should have done so, a long time ago. In any case, she deserved it. She bought souls, in the streets. I mixed my steps up in the city, along shop windows. If I ripped up my documents, it was not out of fear. Per imporre rispetto, e cominciare bene, come si conviene, e un poco a modo mio. In sole sette notti cancellai i ricordi.

In soli sette giorni cambiai faccia.

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Mi diedi da fare. Un bel cominciamento. Si diverte, la gente, a spaventarsi. Quanto a questo, era un uomo di coraggio. Venne una Carmelitana labbra di biacca, mezza bianca mezza nera, cosce chiare e pizzi viola, parole di scirocco. Venne Benda Rossa dei Pirati lingua fra i denti di riso, non parlava ma, Dio, sapeva camminare, culo di colomba. Venne una donna rara, una che regalava, guardava dritti gli occhi, e buona mercanzia, sudore di letto caldo. Disse no. Venne una donna vera col ventre al posto giusto e labbra di farfalla, delirio di una notte senza sonno.

Certamente, disse no. Vennero Labbra Rosse di una solitudine stanca. La donna abbandonata e triste che. The hotel. In only seven nights I erased the memories. In only seven days I changed face. I worked hard at it. When the new man that I was walked out into the street, an orchestra played, and the sun put on a show in red.

A beautiful beginning. The city, half was going crazy and the other half had locked itself in, afraid. People have fun at being scared. The new man aimed his colors and decided to pass. In this, he was a courageous man. There came a Carmelite with leaden white lips, half white half black, pale thighs and purple lace, sirocco words. The new man replied no. There came a rare woman, with many gifts, she gazed straight into your eyes, and good merchandise, the sweat of a warm bed.

He replied no. There came a real woman with a womb in the right place and butterly lips, delirium of a sleepless night. He said no. Of course, he said no. The new man that I was did not look at women. Neither lace nor sirocco. Neither roses nor apple nor seawater. Neither tongue nor ass nor gifts nor bed scents, wombs nor butterly lips. The new man that I was knew his road: to walk on without goal.

There came Red Lips of a tired solitude. The abandoned and sad woman who. I followed her through the alleyways of the city, the new man in heat; they brushed hands at the corner, livid car lights, a step from home. Solita storia di donna abbandonata, i pianti e le sfortune. La stanza divenne azzurra di sorrisi, e calda di letto.

Ben presto, il miracolo fu fatto: la donna nacque a nuova vita. Aveva labbra rosse ributtanti di una zingara. Comprava anime, per strada, e non pagava il prezzo. Per imporre rispetto e cominciare bene, come si conviene, e un poco a modo mio. Quel sax, non smette di suonare. Un buon cominciamento. The new man ran after her down humid stairs, down to the lair of past love and resentments. He lay his head down, softly, listening. The usual story of abandoned woman, the tears and misfortunes. The new man invented bells, and laughter.

The room turned bright blue with smiles, and warm like a bed. Soon, the miracle happened: the woman was born to new life. The new man, who works free for no-one, asked to be paid for the restored soul and the spent effort. He set the price: took the woman into the palm of his hand, and started with the irst torture. She burned the open hand that held her, vendetta.

She bought souls, in the streets and did not pay. The old night porter, there at the hotel front desk, I crushed his glasses into his eyes. Oh, the perfume, the smell of the hotel, so much scent of woman, the adulteress leeing and forgetting her goodbyes, the sound of water running and alleviating the pain of slap, doors broken down by the cuckold husband, gun shots, the blonde dying on the stairs. That sax still playing. The Hotel.

When the new man that I was went out into the streets, an or- chestra played and the sun put on a show in red. A good beginning. She is a poet and literary translator, writing both in English and Italian. Her poems are found in numerous literary magazines and websites in Italy and abroad, as well as in many thematic and group anthologies, the most recent of which are Varianti urbane ; Sempre ai conini del verso: dispatri poetici in Italiano Paris, ; mila poeti per il cambiamento: Poets for Change Bologna, ; Sotto il cielo di Lampedusa and Nei boschi: poesie dalle iabe di Grimm Since she has been a member of the Compagnia delle poete and with them has performed in various Italian and foreign cities.

She was for many years English-language translator for El Ghibli, a website specialized in immigrant writing in Italian. Magazzeni, F. Mormile and A. Mia Lecomte lives between Rome and Paris. Her poems have been published in Italy and abroad, in poetry magazines and anthologies including InVerse. In Guernica Editions has published her bilingual poetry anthology For the Maintenance of Landscape.

A translator from French, Mia Lecomte is a critic and editor in the ield of comparative literature, especially as regards trans- national literature. She edited the anthologies Ai conini dei verso. Poesia della migrazione in italiano , Sempre ai conini del verso. The Poetry of Migrant Writers in Italy ; she frequently lectures on this subject in Italy and abroad. She is on the editorial board of the bi-annual journal of com- parative poetry Semicerchio and of various online literary sites, including the tri-monthly El-Ghibli.

She is a contributor to Italian edition of Le Monde Diplomatique. Studiato malamente , bevuto molto, pesante , mi ero drogato meno, leggero , non mi ero mai innamorato non sono un tipo passionale e per questo avevo sposato la donna giusta una qualsiasi. And I accepted, even willingly after all, what else could I have done?

And at the time the proposal seemed quite attrac- tive or anyway not outrageous. What had I done before my middle age? No children there was still time , or friends even more time or even a ixed home, really. E alla lettura. Richiameranno o vuole dire che non era il caso. Due giorni dopo si rifanno vivi era il caso, almeno per loro. And to reading. It all happened without any warning a sort of luckless lucky stroke.

A winter afternoon the light irremediably gone. They call but no one is at home, neither my wife nor I no other humans around. Two days later they turn up again it was worthwhile, at least for them. The speciied publishers ix an appointment for the following week time and place certain. And the week goes by with me being normally convinced half-way between the worst expectations and the highest hopes.

I forgot to say I always for- get this that besides conversation, cinema and sex, and reading, in those days and now, too, unfortunately I devoted myself to writing the irst thing I devoted myself to, actually, throughout the great void punctuating my existence. Belli, interessanti, con ottime pubblicazioni anche il suo autore preferito, una prosa assolutamente originale, innovativa.

Alle pareti premi, locandine e qualche foto di scrittori famosissimi i mostri sacri del secolo, gli unici con una faccia adatta a competere con la propria opera. Prego, mi vuole seguire? Quando sono entrato ho subito notato che il verde era cambiato in blu in evoluzione cromatica e bluette regressa. Ridevo tra me sulla strada del ritorno, in autobus verso il mio quartiere, al sicuro. Ma poi a chi altro lo potrei raccontare? E a cosa mi servirebbe raccontarlo?

Attractive, interesting, with excellent works even his favorite author, an absolutely original, innovative prose style. Folded into a green cloth armchair hopeful , he was thinking about the errands in wait for him that afternoon all near the house he lived in, he never risked leaving the neighborhood when someone — not the same woman as before, another just as lawless a deliberate display of the ideal igure — came to call him.

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  8. Excuse me, would you mind following me? And a long hallway with a lot of closed doors, the last on the right waiting for me who knows since when. As soon as I entered I noticed that the green had changed to blue chromatic evolution and azure regression. And that the desk was too large for the bald little man sitting behind it an newborn baby abandoned on the church stairs. Then I had no more time to notice anything, concentrated as I was on the proposal being made.

    Why me? I was taken aback and surprised on the contrary and also highly amused that was the main reason I accepted. I laughed to myself all the way home on the bus going back to my own neighborhood, to safety. Who knows when I tell my wife Yes, but only her. I was not allowed to tell anyone else or the con- tract would be cancelled a fairly generous one, I have to say. But then, who else could I tell?

    And what use would telling be? And gradually the light-hearted disbelief which also held a bit of pride, and why not gave way to inexorable weariness my weariness , a damp hole dug just beneath the foundations of consciousness the bottom hidden by darkness.

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    8. And so when I got home I said nothing to my wife I lit a cigarette and sat down in front of the television. And she still knows nothing and never will. E ma da anni ho un nuovo lavoro e la stessa casa. Mia moglie pensa che io scriva pudichi sfoghi post-post-post e mi lascia tranquillo. Col tempo sono diventato piuttosto bravo, perfettamente integrato con la sua prosa pensiero la sua seconda voce, a cappella , fuso con la sua musica perfettamente in controtempo. E forse, poco a poco, sto cominciando a sperare anche in altro comincia a non bastarmi.

      Ci sono molti altri aspetti del periodo, appunto. Se esistono gli scrittori e i loro libri. Esiste almeno un solo scrittore? Tutte domande inutili. Tra parentesi. Everything is quiet, in a word, apparently which is what counts. One of these days I have to ind the courage to mentionit to those in charge those who have shown themselves to be.

      Others just like me in every way except for their jobs, perhaps, after all a sentence has many other aspects. If writers and their books exist. Does at least one writer exist? All useless questions. Unknowable, by contract a note in boldface at the bottom of the page. In parentheses. To relect, with you, on my time, to give it through your eyes and your thoughts the signiicance, the importance that together we believe in.

      Una luce gelatinosa si sta riversando molle sulle colline intorno, riverbera i proili inanimati. Se tu fossi qui con me, fra poco po- tremmo avviarci, entrare pieni di speranza e allegria in questa terra per uomini nuovi. Ci siamo conosciuti tardi, troppo per il vecchio che sono al cospetto della tua giovinezza consolatoria, riparatrice, che avevo atteso per tutta la vita.

      Subito, senza appello, dopo che per mesi ci eravamo trovati costretti a dividere con altri quello che insieme avremmo meravigliosamente moltiplicato. Un privilegio per pochi eletti. Lavoravano a turni, giorno e notte, instancabili. Come schiavi sulla soglia ormai ultimata della tomba del faraone, ostacolo estremo al riscatto di una vita ultraterrena degna di questo nome, anche qui erano in gioco vita e morte, an- che se in ordine rovesciato.

      Non lo sapevano, ovviamente. This letter is doubtlessly gratuitous, yet another gesture from the gratuitous man you know, but it is important to be together once again in the only way that has been granted us so far. This is how I can be sure that somewhere you are waiting for me, and therefore I am waiting for you somewhere, too.

      I beg you to remember this, to remind me of this, because it is this that keeps me alive, with you. A gelatinous light is spread softly over the surrounding hills, re- lecting inanimate forms. If you were here with me, soon we could set out, full of hope and high spirits as we enter this land meant for new men -- the land of salvation, a salvation not at all worthy of the name, since without you it is not fair. But nothing has ever been fair for us. My surprise at so much happiness made me uncertain, hesitant, until someone else decided for me. Immediately, without appeal, after months during which we were forced to share with others what you and I together could have multiplied, gloriously.

      But multiplications are part of a wholly other sphere of miracles, like immaculate conceptions, where lesh, matter itself, is satisied and renewed. A privilege for the chosen few. I have been chosen, if indeed I have been chosen, for languor and amputation. Even if when I was called, and I suppose I was called, I was in no condition to imagine what might happen. With your family, legitimate wife and children, and all the species of animals, in pairs.

      The only ones meant to loat. Considering how urgent it was, I merely concerned myself with putting pressure on the workers. They worked in shifts, day and night, tirelessly. This time, though, not only would they not enjoy the fruit of their labor, but the future was passing through their hands without involving them. Like slaves on the threshold of the inished tomb of the pharaoh, the inal obstacle to the redemption of an afterlife worthy of the name, here as well life and death were at play, though in reverse order. Il comando era stato chiaro, per tutti noi.

      Moglie legittima e igli, animali accoppiati. Era un comando, tesoro mio, ti prego di ricordarlo. Ma non ti ho mai lasciata, e non ho mai capito. Ho dovuto tenere fede a una vocazione, un impegno assoluti, senza ricordare alcuna vocazione, di aver piegato il capo ad alcun impegno. I lavori sono durati mesi, lunghi mesi a incolpare me stesso di non avere avuto il coraggio di difenderti, da cosa non mi era chiaro, di stupirmi, spaventarmi, arrabbiarmi, ribellarmi o dubitare.

      Gli altri. Non ti potevo mettere in salvo, neppure avvisare, e morivo ogni giorno un poco, prima di te. Sono rimasto da solo nella rimessa deserta, seduto nel buio. E ho telefonato anche a te. The com- mand had been clear, for all of us. Legitimate wife and children, animals in couples. It was a command, my darling, I beg you to remember that. After which, there was nothing left for me but to leave you, day after day, trying to understand.

      I had to be faithful to a calling and a commitment, absolute, though I remembered neither any call- ing nor bowing my head to any commitment. Day after day I was there scrupulously making sure everything was being done according to plan. The others. Why did I never worry about them, the terrible fate of my so-called fellowmen, the anonymous distant ones as well as those close to me, relatives, friends, colleagues, acquaintances?

      There was only you, there is only you. And then one evening everything was ready. How proud my workers were of the result! And everyone complimented me on the elegance of line, the cutting-edge technology, the solidity, the roominess and comfort inside. I was left alone in the empty boathouse, sitting in the dark.

      And then I called my wife and children to tell them to join me there. And I called you, too. Every single word we spoke is indelibly en- graved in my mind. Mi aveva aiutato, come sempre, la devota allestitrice tecnica delle nostre scenograie domestiche, da quindici anni grata del nostro affetto e felice di farci felici. Che ora stavo miseramente tradendo.

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      Soltanto al suo termine avrei avvisato il cliente che la sua committenza era stata ultimata. Il quale invece sapeva tutto, e lasciava che salutassi colpevole quella donna che si allontanava verso casa, dopo cena, con le mani arse dal detersivo e il sacco della pattumiera rigonio, i capelli che con gli anni si erano fatti stopposi, radi. Poi siamo andati tutti a letto. Era tardi, troppo tardi. Al buio di quella notte che prevedevo sarebbe durata a lungo, pur ignorando quel che sarebbe potuto esattamente accadere, per quanto, se potesse dirsi davvero notte, se ne sarebbero seguite ancora altre, e giorni.

      Fino ad allora mi ero attenuto a tutte le disposizioni che mi spettavano e ora potevo inalmente riposarmi, smettere di obbedire e di interrogarmi, po- tevo dimenticare. Non avevo che da dormire, dovevamo dormire tutti, e la salvezza si sarebbe crudelmente compiuta. Only couples of every pedigreed species, oficially recognized ones it to reproduce with immaculate continuity.

      That was the last time we spoke. And now I was despicably betraying her. The customer, of course, knew everything in fact, and permitted me to say a guilty good-bye to that woman as she started off for home after dinner, hands reddened by dish-washing detergent, burdened by a bag full of garbage to be disposed of, her hair grown coarse and stringy with the passing of years.

      Then we all went to bed. It was late, too late. I lay in the darkness of that night, which I expected to be a long one. I had only to sleep, we all had to sleep and our salvation would come, cruelly. My wife mumbled in her sleep, turning her back to me. E il tuo gemito sordo, nel ricevitore, prima del silenzio attento e del campanello.

      La linea interrotta, il richiamo a vuoto e inine il sonno, assoluto, terribile, la scomparsa del mio, del nostro mondo. Di iati, pelo, pelli, escrementi, urina, di sudore e sangue e acqua putrida. Di legno fradicio. Ed eccomi qui, un naufrago aggrappato al relitto di queste mie parole a te, le prime che sono in grado di pronunciare, in re- ligioso silenzio. The interrupted line, the useless attempt to call back, and inally sleep, absolute, terrible, the disappearance of my, of our, world.

      And it all was accomplished on its own, saving me. In my confused and violent sleep I could hear the din of the animals climb- ing in the part of the ship reserved for them, moving and pushing to get on top, kicking and balking, their cries mixed and blending into a single howl of surprise and terror, joined by the shouts of other species and plants, high and low, a bray, a roar, all strictly paired, voices getting further and further away.

      At a certain point I thought I heard our cat, only once, faintly, then nothing. Of skin, hair, breath, excrement, urine, sweat and blood, of putrid water. Of soaked wood. Then a violent boom, a crash, and suddenly the boat climbed up, as though lifted by an extraordinary wave, pushed upwards in a sudden continuous motion.

      And here I am, a castaway clutching at the wreck of my words to you, the irst I am able to pronounce, in devout silence. The oth- ers are still asleep, if we can call it sleep, or what follows a real awakening, and I miss you, I feel nothing else. Only your absolute absence, the only presence ever granted me by love. And I know you will be more and more present now, being here less and less.

      But then another farewell and another salvation will bring me back to myself, to the full privilege of be- ing the survivor. I look out of the glass in front of me and try to ind a direction. From where I am, above the horizon line, so far I can only follow the proile of a giant shadow over a landscape as yet vague. Giace di sbieco, adagiata sul ianco, in una pozza di luce e acqua melmosa. Le capriate reggono la volta celeste di un gioco, la sua cupola trasparente.

      A huge boat, abandoned in shallows of stagnant water, on its side in a ray of sun. Or perhaps there is no water, perhaps the joists are still holding up the hull and around it there are the footprints of the workers in the dust around the keel. Or perhaps there is no boat. The trusses support is the heav- enly vault of a toy, its transparent dome, smooth to the hand, with fake wreckage inside.

      When you shake it, as light as snow it loats up from the bottom, to fall back down and begin anew the artiicial storm that everything has survived. The man unable to say good- bye once again, and his illusion of salvation. He is currently working towards the comple- tion of his Ph. He teaches Italian culture and language at Monash as a teaching associate. With Annamaria Pagliaro he is editing a forthcoming, bilingual volume of collected essays on new approaches to Capuana studies. After entering the literary scene in with the short story Doctor Cymbalus, his proliic production, lasted for over four decades and comprised ive novels, seven major collections of es- says and several collections of short stories, plays and fairy tales.

      He explored varying literary territories such as the psychological novel and the novella fantastica going beyond the fairly restrictive naturalist image traditionally associated to his igure. His widely recognized masterpiece, Il marchese di Roccaverdina has appeared in English in Trans. Santi Buscemi. Most of his major creative as well as critical works remain untranslated. I due amici si abbracciarono affettuosamente. Aveva bisogno di lui. Ma siedi; fumiamo una pipa. Inine si va in capo al mondo e si ritorna.

      Il silenzio di William lo sorprese. Ma parliamo di cose serie. Sono qui per un affare di grave interesse. Lost in the immensity of a problem of advanced metaphysics, he had fallen asleep and had been snoring for more than an hour when he was abruptly awoken by an insistent knock- ing at the door. There appeared a large bonnet, into which was sunk the wrinkled old head of an old woman.

      The two friends embraced affectionately. Had he arrived that day? He needed him. Sit down. Usinger placed a fat sealed envelope on the table. Anyway, one goes to the end of the earth and comes back. Tu che mi scrivevi di amarla tanto? Tu vuoi dimenticare, tu vuoi Due donne non mi usciranno mai dal cuore: mia madre e lei! Vai in America: abbandona questa vecchia Eu- ropa che casca a pezzi da ogni parte.

      Vai in America. Buon viaggio! Ho venduto tutto. Pel tuo avvenire? Ida is marrying someone else. You, who wrote to me that you loved her deeply? Two women will always be in my heart: my mother and she! I have undeniable proof. Without family, without love, without hope, without illusions, what use is there to stay here among you people? Go to America. Bon voyage! There you can heal your heart. As soon as I embark, I no longer mean to be alive for any- one here, that is in three or four days.

      William, pallidissimo, faceva grandi sforzi per contenersi. Trattienti almeno un paio di giorni! Mi hai fatto proprio piacere. Dove sei tu alloggiato? Staremo insieme ino a stasera. Che io arrivi a tempo! Your future? Do you accept? Hermann had tears in his eyes. William, extremely pale, was making great efforts to contain himself.

      But stay at least a couple of days! In fact, I wanted to mail you the envelope to save time, but I changed my mind. I wanted to embrace you before leaving Europe. Where are you staying? When Hermann Strauss was alone, he lit his large pipe, he lowered his fox skin beret over his forehead, crossed his arms, and for some time remained absorbed, with his eyes ixed on the bust of Hegel in front of him. All of a sudden, he roused himself, grabbed the envelope, broke the seal, and took out the single sheet of paper, on which something was written.

      But before he could read half a page, he let out a scream. The Blaue Stern was located on the other side of the city. Herman crossed an alley, turned a corner, came upon a small square, made his way along two other dark and twisting lanes, exited onto the main street, and then went straight, running breath- lessly, without caring that people stopped and gaped at him. By the time he arrived at the door of the hotel, he was out of breath. Quei minuti di aspettazione parvero un secolo ad Hermann. Dove poteva trovarlo? Come raggiungerlo a tempo? Montarono le scale, silenziosi.

      Hermann rimase in piedi innanzi a lui. Credo che il punto sia il miglioramento continuo. Ho imparato ad amare Milano, frequentandola per fiere, eventi e incontri coi clienti. Ai clienti piace da matti incontrarsi a Milano, anche se devono venire da Bologna. Ero, appunto, a Milano per lavoro e alloggiavo in un piccolo hotel in Corso Garibaldi, strategicamente scelto per muovermi a piedi. Appena preso possesso della mia stanza, ho subito cercato qualcosa di fresco da bere nel minibar.

      Telefono alla reception e comunico il problema. Le mille e una bevanda. Mentre ci ripensavo, avvolto dal compiacimento, inclinavo la testa da un lato. Morale della favola: non ho bevuto, ho fatto una doccia frettolosa e mi sono beccato la vocetta indolente di una persona priva di ogni empatia nei miei confronti.

      Magari ha anche qualche risorsa da parte e gli frullano in testa tante idee che vorrebbe sviluppare, ma, poi, resta impantanato in un mare di suggestioni, di offerte formative, di spaventosi messaggi di crisi e di amici amici? Ero felice. Cosa poteva andare storto? Da anni ormai, preferisco godermi il viaggio sognando senza farmi aiutare dal finestrino, lasciando la mente vagare. Magari un film, un buon libro o un vicino interessante.

      E poi, scappasse, non devo chiedere permesso a nessuno. Ora stiamo ballando causa turbolenza, se notate errori di battitura, sapete il motivo. Che fare? Oggi, 31 agosto di 18 anni fa, partivo alla volta di Fano per iniziare ad occuparmi di estero per una grande azienda volete sapere una bella coincidenza? Capito, no? Quindi che fare? Alternativa, of course! Non potevo essere da meno che 18 anni fa, no? Orario di arrivo al Marco Polo? Ma stanco, appunto. Tanto che non lo facevo.

      Uno di quelli che come inizia a parlare, si elogia e si sbrodola elencando i suoi benemeriti lungi 30 anni di carriera. Neanche non si stesse parlando di Franchising! Ehm, scusate, urlando! Buon lavoro! Non dimenticate il mio intervento di oggi. Vi aspetto. In poche parole, esplicitare al massimo il mio intervento al TED, raccontando aneddoti e dettagli. Si, come detto, nel bene e nel male. Da viaggiatore a viaggiatore.