Poke the fire before it dies. Laio always obeys his elders, so he goes to the fireplace to set a log on the burning coals. Laio tries again. He takes the fire in his hands, tries to pull it apart. But he realizes the fire is as cold as ice, as hard as metal. Even gold needs fire. Why not set me on fire? Burn me. Io sono un vecchio tronco, subito ardo. Bruciami, bruciami. Sentirai che buon profumo spando, e che calore. I giovani devono nutrirsi dei vecchi, i figli usare i padri.
Gli risponde un gran rombo che fa tremare il monte e una luce lo investe e lo trascina lontano. Gocce pesanti e chicchi di grandine misti piovendo diritti con violenza, gli bucavano gli oc- chi. Fulmini di un colore marcio traversavano il cielo da occidente a oriente, salivano dal mare a ferire i monti che gemevano dalle viscere profonde.
The young must feed on the old; sons must use their fathers. His answer is a sharp thunderclap that shakes the mountain, then a flash of lightning that hits him and hurls him aside. He looks back, and his hut, struck by lightning, has burst into flames, is being consumed, the carbonized pieces floating up, like burning paper, falling on him, all around him, and as they fall, the pieces are turning yellow, round, shiny: large gold coins that hurt as they strike his face like rain.
With this pain, Laio awoke. Big heavy rain drops and hail were falling, a violent downpour, stinging his eyes and his hands. Flashes of lightning, the color of rot, crisscrossed the sky from west to east, rising from the sea to batter the mountains, making them moan from deep within their bowels. Laio jumped up: he ran toward his flock huddled beneath a poplar tree, and he yelled and waved his arms to drive them away from the tree and onto the main road, as he searched for cover.
They were barely on their way when the rain began spinning in sudden gusts from the whirling winds that made the clouds crash together with a terrible noise. The rain fell straight down, a solid wall. It was more like being submerged in a lake, where some new law made breathing possible. They pressed to the ground, trying to hide in the furrows. Argo, too, unable to help, huddled with them, bark- ing pitifully. Now and then, Laio heard the sweet bleating of the lambs, growing ever weaker. Groping around in the dark, he picked up two, tucking one inside his cloak, setting the other on his shoulders.
But now walking was exhaust- ing. The ground was saturated, a muddy mire, and he sank in Rozier. Andava avanti senza pensiero, accompa- gnato dal sibilo della serpe, dal battito pauroso del cuore dei due pecorini. Solo allora si accorse di un fragore mo- notono che accompagnava quello della pioggia, ma come di fianco, irregolare e minaccioso. Il lampo venne. Laio aveva fin qui conosciuto Dio onnipotente e giusto, ma ora stava perplesso davanti a quello sperpero di potenza, a quella indecifrabile giustizia.
Dio, mi senti, o forse sei troppo lontano? Che cosa ne fanno del mio armento, la tempesta e il mare? Hanno un corpo da vestire di lana? The blood from its wings filled his mouth and tasted sweet. A little further, he stepped on a snake that wrapped itself around his ankle, hissing, but Laio did not try to shake it off. He kept going, not thinking, accompanied by the hissing of the snake and the frightened heartbeats of the two lambs. Only then did he hear the dull crashing alongside the rain, but this was all to the side, something sporadic, menacing.
Lightning lit up the landscape. This section of the river bank was manmade, with boulders stacked inside metal wire to hold back the wild waves rushing down the rocky gorge. He pleaded for another flash of lightning and the lightning came. It broke through the clouds, came down so close, screaming and burning, that Argo yelped and ran from his master. Where was the flock? The shepherd poked him gently with his staff, and he knew the lamb was dead. They were all dead. Until now, the shepherd had believed in a just and omnipotent God, and he stood bewildered before such a misuse of power, such indecipherable justice.
Can you hear me, God, or are you too far away? What good is my flock to the storm and the sea? Do they have a body that needs to be dressed in wool? Lord, how will my sheep find the entrance to your fields without me? Why punish us so? Who can answer? Do you want this lamb as well? But no one answered, and he started walking again. Forse io ora dovrei darti anche questa? Ma nessuno rispose e Laio riprese a camminare. Grondava acqua e barcollava. Poi si volse indietro a chi gli aveva aperto e disse: - Hai una stuoia, una coperta o un sacco, una pelle vecchia, qualche cosa per coprire questa mia bestia?
E guarda come infanghi tutto. Quando riscendo a valle te la riporto. La voce taceva. Laio non si muoveva e non guardava, stava nella propria desolazione come in una nebbia. Stava piegato in avanti ad ascoltare con terrore la voce cattiva e tuttavia con le mani rattrappite continuava a dividere le patate sane dalle germogliate. E fu una buona lana davvero. Fu anche mio padre, quando serviva a qualche cosa. Hai promesso. Laio ora batteva i denti dal ribrezzo e sentiva le ginocchia Rozier. He walked until he hit a wall. He was dripping wet and unsteady on his feet.
He went to the table, took the lamb from inside his cloak and set it down. Get out. For the love of God -- that I can do. But only if you promise never to bring it back. Just give it to me. There, in the corner, on a pile of potatoes, sat a very old man with a few white whiskers on his chin. Terrified, he was leaning forward to listen to the evil voice and meanwhile his stiff old hands divided the good potatoes from the bad.
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And a real old goat as well. And my father besides, back when he was still worth something. La voce riprese, avvicinandosi: - Su, pastore, che cosa aspetti? Prendi quanto hai chiesto e vattene. Pareva che fosse meno vecchio, fuori dalla casa del figlio, si moveva con un certo vigore e senza lamenti. Il vecchio certo doveva conoscere i luoghi e sapere dove voleva andare se moveva con tanta certezza. Il vecchio con gesti brevi indicava a Laio il passo e i pericoli.
Il vecchio accettava tutto con naturalezza, ma non parlava. Laio volle seguirlo, invece cadde di schianto in terra chiamandolo. They looked each other in the eye, as if trying to recognize each other. Then the shepherd bowed his head and let the old man leave first. Laio picked up the lamb. Besides, going back to the hut would be useless; better to find some village and ask for work there.
If the old man walked so decisively, he had to know where they were going. They walked all night without a word, across washed-out paths, across ditches and landslides. With brief gestures the old man showed him where to go and what to avoid. Finally, by dawn they reached the main road and rested in a hayloft. The shepherd made a pallet for his companion and lit a small fire between two stones where the old man could dry himself and warm up. And what was there to say? When daylight broke and the rain had slowed, the old man awoke and prepared to leave.
Laio stood to follow, but then collapsed to the ground, calling out. Who knows where it is. But at least I wanted you, a father to love and comfort. Ieri io aspet- tavo te. Mi volevi per figlio? Allora il vecchio rise: - E poi mungermi, Laio? Laio non capiva: - Mungerti, padre? Quanto Dio ha stabilito. Cattivo Dio. Dio che stabilisce ci sia un figlio che regala via suo padre. Un padre. Difficile da capire. Forse capire non si deve. Solo ubbidire si deve. Ubbidire alla legge. Le dieci leggi. E se il padre ha detto: - Dormi - Laio deve dormire e se il padre dice: - Svegliati. Laio si sveglia.
Doveva essere passato molto tempo. Un poco di sole entrava nel fienile e in quel poco sole stava il vecchio, che sorrideva con arguzia: - Alzati.
About this book
Lo seguiva. Oh, poor flock of mine, what are you doing at the bottom of the sea? Yesterday, I was the one waiting for you. You wanted me for a son? Love you! Help you cross the meadow. Feed you. Evil God. A father. Obey the law. The Ten Commandments. Time had passed. Outside, under a sky of fluffy clouds sat a crimson cart drawn by white oxen. The old man climbed in and gestured for Laio to sit beside him. They set off, along a wide winding road through the young Rozier. I bovi si mossero. Laio si meravigliava, il suo compagno rispondeva con un cenno del capo, donne e bambini, misteriosamente avvertiti, uscivano dai casolari per guardarli.
Forse qualcuno potrebbe darmi lavoro. Lasciami scendere a chiedergliene. At the first bend in the road, they came out of a grove of pop- lars, and they climbed, surrounded by dwarf vineyards and fields of corn and alfalfa. Farmers, hearing the cart, stopped their work to see who was going by, and they shielded their eyes from the ever- rising sun, and seeing the old man, they greeted him with humble words of respect and devotion.
Laio was surprised; his companion responded with a nod; women and children, somehow aware of their presence, came out of their homes to watch them pass. Maybe one of them might give me work. Let me go ask. Now the fields returned, stretched out in a valley cut by stands of poplars and thickets of cane, here and there, water spar- kling behind them. The sun was almost in the middle of the sky and the old man slumped over more and more from the heat.
Soon they were in a gentle meadow, following a river that flowed from the mountains to the sea, under a sky of the palest green, the air smelling like mint. The shepherd thought of the day before, of Argo and his sheep that drowned, and he covered his eyes with his hands. When he looked again he saw flocks of sheep grazing on pasturelands.
Laio stood up in the cart. He looked to the right, to the left, as though searching, seeing. A dog ran to meet them, and he almost called out, but he stopped and a tear rolled down his face. Let me milk one of these sheep and give you a little milk.
Un cane corse loro incontro e lui fece per chiamarlo, ma si trattenne e una lacrima gli scendeva per il volto. Lascia che io munga una di queste pecore e ti dia un poco di latte. I contadini sanno che, da ora in poi, debbono a te chiedere opere, tetto e nutrimento.
Non era per questo che ti ho chiamato padre: non voglio che possa essere per questo. Prendi dunque la guida del carro e sii il padrone, Laio. Mi aveva preso tutto quel che conosceva essere mio. Se fosse venuto a saperlo mi avrebbe ucciso. Ci sono io a difenderti. Portami nella tua casa - e gli volgeva, sereno, una fronte piena di bianca luce.
I bovi ripresero lenti il cammino percorso. Laio guardava con Rozier. Because those flocks are mine, the houses and the farms you saw belong to me. He saw the old man from his dream, and he was frightened. All this belongs to your other son, your flesh and blood, even if he rejected you. Now take the reins, Laio. Drive the cart. He was no longer thinking about his dream, about himself, about the miracle that was happen- ing to him.
He took everything he thought was mine. But I hid most of it away. I wanted to give it to him later as a surprise. I trust you. Now take me to your home. The oxen slowly turned and were on their way again. Deeply moved, Laio stared at the road ahead, at the fields all around, a young man who sees the woman he loves sleeping for the first time, her face tinged with modesty and mischief. The old man was no longer watching the road, the oxen, or all that was his; he was watching his son, his greatest possession.
Now, you must use the same care and lead me away from the land and the reasons that make men want to live. A professional journalist, she lives in Rome where she works for RAI. Anthony Molino is an award-winning translator, anthropolo- gist, and psychoanalyst. Gray Sutherland is the author of five collections of poetry and a novel. In he began translating contemporary Italian poetry into English. Sea and sky are perfect, the dying sun marries them.
Pure volume, lucid height. Yet without islands there is no solace. Born under the plunge of the sun, their frailty, like ours, dies with the light. Their single flaw makes distance real. They are the riddle that solves the night. Before Islands The fret of motion stirs the world to being.
It sees hunger, feigns a mouth. Hunger is aloft, an eye, a beak, raging at the sea. All this was before islands, before the first cliff that shouldered up and snagged the sky. Perfetto il mare, perfetto il cielo mentre il sole morente li sposa. Volume puro, lucido slancio. Il loro solo torto rende vera ogni distanza. Vede la fame, finge una bocca. La fame aleggia, un occhio, un becco, furibondi col mare. Keros Gulls describe a cliff weaving it back and forth with the strong thread of a sail A surf of hills makes its lunge against a wilder blue They say a goatherd lives on Keros, or a monk.
I like to think he is the harpist who plays the mad music of the wind. The Rehearsal Dawn. A me piace pensare che sia il suonatore di arpa che mette in musica la follia del vento. Incipit Alba. Gold hastens to the rock. It is all one chord of light struck from the silent gong, rehearsing another day.
But whose, you say, the hand that closed that fist? It is no matter. Five-pointed like a star it lies open, generous and its fingers stream infinity— back into stone. The Rival Poet Yours the tree in whose shadow I lie yours the river whose current carries me resistless or resisting to the snagged branch that fishes me Yours the mountain from whose height a boulder crashes through the caverns from black to blacker might toward cataracts of dawn.
How then shall I praise thee? How then shall I not deny thee? Stone by stone, I subtract your temple. Word by word, I rebuild your world. Ma di chi, dirai, la mano che chiuse quel pugno? Non importa. Come, allora, elogiarti? Come, allora, non rinnegarti? Pietra per pietra sottraggo al tuo tempio. Parola per parola, rifaccio il tuo mondo. You must bring it yourself. A man, too naked for clothing, bestrides an anvil. He has come from a place without beginning and he goes to one without end.
We must imagine the rain. He moves through it. It comes from nowhere and goes to nowhere, but the rain, the rain we must bring ourselves. The data are enough. We stare until a tear collects in each eye and then the rain then the rain will fall and nothing we can do will make it stop. Devi portarcela tu. Arriva da un luogo senza inizio e va verso un luogo senza fine.
Dobbiamo immaginarcela, la pioggia. Viene da nessun dove e da nessuna parte va, ma la pioggia, la pioggia, dobbiamo portarla noi. I dati sono sufficienti. He has pub- lished articles in Italian and in English on medieval, modern and contemporary Italian literature, English and American literature, Italian-American literature, and comparative litera- ture. Livorni has also published three collections of poems: Prospettiche illusioni Illusions of Perspective , Nel libro che ti diedi.
Sonetti In the Book that I gave you. The collec- tion Onora il Padre e la Madre Honor Thy Father and Mother , which gathers previously published and new poems, was released in October Blakesley Livorn. Non chiedermi calma. Lettera al Padre Eccomi, Padre. Ormai anche il tempo ha ceduto il suo scettro imbiancato e torni, ancestrale figura, o forse son io che percorro la strada. Eccomi, Padre. O Padre! The hour hand lies suspended over your breast: man speaks waiting for death he scratches out segregating syllogisms. Letter to the Father Here I am, Father.
By now time has ceded its whitened scepter and you return, ancestral figure, or perhaps it is I who walk along this road. Father, I was already old when you made me and I am certain that my first cries bit into your chest, like a vision. That crown of dreams, racing down your forehead, still burns you, as if it were ironclad blackmail; tell me, Father, would you ever have overcome the full and complete enchantment of the late moons?
Here I am, Father. The night watches you, and sleep, heavier than tears, overwhelms you, and everything that I feel and do breaks like glass. Father, I followed the fights in vain, and like a raging lion I clawed away at the ice, enchanted by a dissolving vision in my eyes. Oh Father! Ribelle al passato ne sento il fascino come tortura, come passione le vene mi gonfia e certo capisci quel che ti dico. Padre, non vedi che brucio? Soltanto se guardi le mani, vedi ogni dito proteso in cerca, proteso con cura verso ogni grido che forte trionfa dentro le tempie.
Sentii una voce venire dal fondo della tua stanza e dapprima mi parve essere un vento che si sfaldava in un coro di fiati. A rebel against the past, its fascination tortures me; like passion, it swells my veins, and you certainly know what I am telling you. Father, do you not see I am burning? Just look at my hands, you will see every finger stretched out, carefully searching for every cry that loudly triumphs in my temples. Father, every crevice in my mind, like a failed action, repeats an ancient ritual of disgraced generations.
I heard a voice coming from deep in your room and at first it seemed to be a wind crumbling into a chorus of sighs. Father, I feel my guts stolen away, as if I were a child, and it is atrocious to sense once more the dancing breath leaf through the list of my crimes. You, Father, are a necessary evil; now I understand what I saw and one day we will join our faces, when a new child comes, a rebel.
Now I am here, and I attend to my rituals and I live each day precariously, risking each day by tempting all the fates: Father, why have you forsaken me? He has recently begun working as a freelance literary scout and editorial advisor. Baret Magarian was born and raised in London, but he is of Armenian extraction and currently lives in Italy. In London he directed fringe theatre and cabaret. Zibetti and Magarian hope to stage the piece again in in Torino. He can be contacted at this email address: baretbmagarian hotmail. They told me to drive to the guy, the big guy, the boss, the genius, the man who pisses pink champagne, and who craps caviar.
I knocked on his door in Lincoln, Nebraska, he handed me the package. I had to make it all the way to Los Angeles. The final stages of the trip entailed a hypnotized spell in the Mojave desert with its honey mesquite trees and tumbleweeds and cacti and lizards and a blowtorch sun and the unreal skies and the desolation and the cosmic American landscape. Just me, the car, the package, the bottles of Miller beside me offering to lubricate my soul, so long as no cops spotted me as I trailed a blaze of toxic speed, dust clouds blooming around my tires, the smell of gasoline in the wind, taint- ing that pristine nothingness of the desert.
That nothingness was perfect for me because that nothingness was my life. Pressing the gas, driving the machine hard, the wind vacuuming off the dust between the cracks, the elemental tapestries being weaved around me, and for a moment, for a second, it was perfect, the music vibrating, a low hum, the engine purring, the sirotti.
Il pezzo grosso, il boss, il genio, quello che piscia champagne rosa e caca caviale. Avevo bussato alla sua porta a Lincoln, Nebraska, e mi aveva dato il pacchetto. Con quel coso in mano sprigioni un tale calore da inviare in orbita una navicella spaziale. Dunque avevo preso il pacchetto, maneggiandolo con cura manco fosse la versione digitale rimasterizzata della fica di Clau- dia Schiffer. Dovevo arrivare fino a Los Angeles.
Davo gas, andavo al massimo. Consciousness seemed to expand in vibrating rings, pulsing out like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The light was fading, the evening was coming. There was no stopping it. I glanced at the package slumped on the back seat. It was still intact. No ants had eaten into it, gaffer tape squeezed it like bandages round an Egyptian mummy.
I pulled up at a desert motel. I needed showering, a bed, some kind of sanctuary for a few hours. Time had decomposed the place. In fact it looked like it had been abandoned years ago. Discarded branches were scattered before its entrance like cigarette butts and the wooden sign that announced it was slanted at an acute angle, hanging from a tall stump of wood, looking like it might decapitate a passing stranger. The windows were thick with grime. Despite all this the place attracted me and I pulled into the parking lot, where plastic bags stirred in the residual wind.
I parked with precision and care, picked up the package. The package was cold to the touch, icy cold. It felt as if it had just been sitting in a freezer. I got out shakily, cradling the package and walked up to the reception. A large, bovine woman was behind the counter. She made me think of a squashed cream puff. She nodded up from her airport novel and glanced at me without a flicker of interest. She began to write care- fully with a half chewed biro. I clutched the package protectively.
La coscienza sembrava espandersi in cerchi vibranti, che sgorgavano pulsanti come il petrolio fuoriuscito nel Golfo del Messico. La luce si smorzava, scendeva la sera. Inutile provare a fermarla. Lanciai uno sguardo al pacchetto appoggiato sul sedile posteriore. Era ancora integro. Non era stato aggredito dalle formiche, i nastri telati lo strizzavano come bende intorno a una mummia egiziana. Mi fermai a un motel nel deserto. Avevo bisogno di farmi la doccia, di un letto, di qualche ora di ristoro.
Il tempo aveva decomposto un luogo che, in effetti, pareva in abbandono da anni. Le finestre erano spesse di sudiciume. Parcheggiai con cura e precisione e raccolsi il pacchetto. Scesi barcol- lando dalla macchina, tenendo il pacco con circospezione e mi avviai alla reception. Afferrai il pacco con aria protettiva. Could be terrorism.
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Or could be drugs. You a writer? Payment upfront. Check out 10 am. The master I mentioned at the start. It was his work. His editor was in LA, you see. He types on an old Olivetti, makes a single carbon copy for himself when he types. He has ruled out the computer, the fax, the attachment, the email, this fucker wants his masterpiece to be handed in person to his associate as though it were an aluminum case stuffed with loot.
Non ho nulla, a parte il pacco. Per via del terrorismo. O potrebbe esserci la droga. Sono venti dollari per la camera. Pagamento anticipato. Stanza libera entro le dieci. Era opera sua. Il suo editor stava a Los Angeles, tutto qui. Ha messo al bando computer, fax, allegati, e-mail. He is the Elvis of literature. As I said he craps caviar and he pisses pink champagne. He is as eccentric as Howard Hughes and as classic as a Ferrari. He writes prose of a beauty that makes grown men weep and women squirt. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the final word in Final Words, the Writer whose every phrase gets emblazoned onto the fabric of consciousness as surely as if it were a laser beam.
His second, Prototype of Love , was told from the point of view of a pregnant man. The Sound of Extinction was about meet- ing God who turns out to be this little guy who goes around with a supermarket trolley. The books grew larger and more ambitious. The Philosopher King was set in a remote village in Cyprus whose inhabitants are pig ignorant and primitive. Next came The Millions , a page satire about an agency in New York that specializes in faking alternate lives for people whose own lives are boring and uneventful.
The agency produces documents, diplomas, certificates, letters, emails, creates an illustrious, exotic past for those who come knocking at its door. E io sono il corriere. Poi, un bel giorno, vi prende la residenza uno straniero. Il suo aspetto esotico suscita ogni tipo di dicerie e il paese si divide in due parti: quelli che lo amano e quelli che lo odiano.
The fake biographies sabotage the actual until reality itself becomes one vast and bloated invention. The Overhaul chronicled the decline of a wealthy American family over four generations. The narrative spanned hundreds of years, evoking in hallucinatory detail the Na- tive American genocide, episodes from the American civil War, the assassination of Martin Luther King and the attack on the World Trade Center.
What finally emerges is the complete culpability of money. After the midnight celebrations die down he offers the surviving family members port of a rare vintage from a diamond-encrusted decanter. The port has been laced with strych- nine and the whole clan, including Riley, goes into convulsions and asphyxiates. The book garnered tremendous critical acclaim and several death threats and there were rumors that the CIA and the FBI had subsequently opened files on him. No one knew the subject of his latest novel. No one even knew the title. I wrestled with the key and stepped in. I placed the package carefully on a side table and switched on the lamp.
Dirty light, dirty windows. Light, dark. The place was a lousy dump. But it would do. I was exhausted. La verifica registra il declino di una ricca famiglia americana attraverso quattro generazioni. Riley organizza una festa pantagruelica di fine anno trasformando la magione avita in un vortice di ogni esempio concepibile di lussuria e decadenza. Esauriti i festeggiamenti di mezzanotte, egli offre ai membri su- perstiti della famiglia un porto di una rara annata, mescendolo da una caraffa incastonata di diamanti. Il vino era stato avvelenato con la stricnina e tutto il clan, Riley compreso, ha le convulsioni e muore di asfissia.
Nessuno sapeva neppure il titolo. Armeggiai con la chiave ed entrai in camera. Luce sporca, finestre sporche. Luce, buio. Quel posto era un letamaio, ma avrebbe fatto al caso mio. Ero sfinito. What lay inside it? What gems and what pearls? Did that package somehow contain the guy? Did it contain his essence? All that was best about him? Was that pack- age, in the final count, more real, more destined for immortality than the man himself?
It had been made abundantly clear to me that on no account was I to open it. It had been made digitally clear that if that package were tampered with my balls would be neatly severed from my scrotum. I stared hard at the thing. Or maybe what lay in there was no good after all, was just scrambled shit… The motel room was stuffy. I walked over and yanked open a window. I stared outside at nothing, at the barren night, approaching like the onset of a disease, the night of longing and sexual desire and unanswered calls for companionship.
Then I took one of those interminable pisses, one of those that last so long that your legs begin to buckle and you have to prop yourself up against the wall with your arms. I pulled out a Marlboro and smoked it right down to the tip. I walked back over to the package. It was warm. The damn thing was emanating heat like a computer. What was going on with this package? First it was freezing cold, now it was warm, it was as though the thing had been plugged into an electrical source. It seemed as if the package was alive, it seemed to be a living thing. I managed to foil a mad impulse to open it.
I was beginning to feel scared. I took the thing over to the cupboard and shoved it inside. I walked out into the corridor and over to my car, opened it up, pulled out the bottles of beer and returned with them and opened one up and took a long gulp. That steadied me a little bit and I spread out on the bed. The springs whined in protest. Then I finished off all the beer. Before I knew it I was sleeping. But it was short-lived and I woke up a few hours later. I stared at my watch. It was 2. I switched on the bedside lamp and went over to the cupboard. I touched the package.
It was no longer warm and no longer cold. But it was true, the package had been cold, had been hot. It was an insane package, it had been driven mad by its contents, or maybe it was a package that was subject to the freakish extremities of climate change.
Guardai fisso il pacchetto. Quali perle e gemme di saggezza? Conteneva la sua essenza? La sua parte migliore? Mi era stato abbondantemente spiegato che non avrei dovuto aprirlo per nessuna ragione.
Sorry we still under construction...
Mi era stato chiarito con digitale precisione che se quel pacco fosse stato manomesso mi avrebbero staccato di netto le palle dallo scroto. Fissai attonito quel coso. Mi avvicinai alla finestra e la spalancai. Senza risultato. Tirai fuori una Marlboro e la fumai fino al filtro. Poi tornai al pacco. Era caldo. Non scherzo. Quel maledetto coso emanava calore quasi fosse un computer. Che succedeva al pacco? Prima era gelido, ora caldo, come se qualcuno lo avesse infilato in una presa di corrente.
Riuscii a trattenere il folle impulso di aprirlo. Cominciavo ad aver paura. Le molle gemettero, contrariate. Poi scolai la birra. Prima che me ne rendessi conto, mi addormentai. Ma fu un sonno di breve durata e dopo alcune ore mi svegliai. Erano le due e mezzo. Tastai il pacco. Per un attimo pensai di essermi immaginato le sue alterazioni ter- miche.
Ma era vero, il pacco prima era freddo, poi era caldo. Era un pacco pazzo, era il suo contenuto ad avergli fatto perdere il senno, o forse era soggetto ai bizzarri eccessi del cambiamento climatico. It was hard to identify what was making the sound. I glanced out of the window where I found nothing but the parking lot half swal- lowed in the void of night. This was the desert. The desert where life existed, but barely, where the only friends to be had were the shadows, rustling like leaves and pattering like leaves on the fringes of consciousness.
There was nothing here, not even a yellowing skeleton in the cupboard that might be dragged out and danced with in a last ditch attempt to ward off terminal loneliness. The next part of this whole thing is rather hard to describe. As I was sitting there, feeling myself sinking deeper and deeper, I began to have the impression that the boundaries of reality were being redrawn, that they were shifting, that a seismic shift was taking place and that my motel room was no longer a motel room, that it was more like a chamber passing through space.
I continued to stare out of the window. I turned away but, when I turned back again, at once — with the awful certainty that accompanies dread—I knew that something was wrong. I looked through the murky window. A tall, dark figure with his back to me, standing motionless and inert. He just stood there, looking out into space, wrapped up in a brown raincoat.
What the hell was he doing out there in the dead of night?
I watched, the curtain pulled toward me to conceal my presence. It might have been a statue as opposed to an actual human being. As I watched I began to feel my throat growing dry. I needed water, so with two long strides made it to the bathroom. I let the faucet run and downed a glass. When I had returned to my vantage point he, it, was still there. Indivisible horror was rising, spinning its sticky web. I was aware of my hands tighten- ing into fists as I stood there. It was as though the weight of what I saw was pushing against, crushing, my ability to interpret it.
I was seized with the idea that if I could just catch a glimpse of its face my curiosity would be laid to rest so I decided to venture out there, leave my safe room and stare the thing in the eyes, but I could feel my heart vaulting as I hurried down the corridor, and my legs sirotti. Era difficile capire la causa di quel rumore. Guardai dalla finestra e non vidi che il parcheggio mezzo inghiottito nel vuoto della notte. Questo era il deserto.
Continuai a guardare dalla finestra. Attraverso il vetro offuscato vidi una figura alta e scura che mi dava le spalle, immobile e inerte. Scrutai, la tenda tirata verso di me per nascondere la mia presenza. Avrebbe potuto essere una statua piuttosto che un essere umano. Guardando, sentii la gola farsi secca. Non riuscivo a staccare lo sguardo da lui. Un indis- solubile orrore cresceva, tessendo la sua tela appiccicosa. Impietrito, mi resi conto che le mie mani si stringevano a pugno.
As I grappled with my keys, another door, way down the corridor, on the opposite side to my room, opened slowly. A woman stepped out uncertainly. She had blonde hair. She wore jeans. She could see that I was too scared to pose any danger to her. She weighed up the situation, probably assuming from my behavior that I was either mad or sick. Era bionda. In jeans. Non posso tornare nella mia stanza Sta bene?
Are you ok? She was on the wrong side of forty, with depleted features and a beaten up body, but not unattractive, not without a certain 3 am allure. She was wearing jeans and a blue denim shirt and she was smoking a cigarette. She watched me as I unraveled before her, and something held her to me. She had latched on to my torment. How do you say we fix you a drink? How does that sound? In my room? You sure look like you could use a drink.
Some strength returned to my frazzled legs. In my room. Safe and cozy. She poured me a drink and handed it to me. I took a sip of Bourbon and felt it erupt in my throat. I was with another human being, a desirable woman, I had company, I had alcohol, the night no longer seemed nightmarish, interminable. Whatever it was had you all shook up pretty frickin good. Fumava una sigaretta. Si era allacciata al mio tormento. Nazi Massacres and Divided Memory. The Resistance. The Strategy of Tension and Terrorism. Conclusion: End of the Voyage. Back Matter Pages About this book Introduction This book argues that contemporary Italian history has been marked by a tendency towards divided memory.
Events have been interpreted in contrasting ways, and the facts themselves often contested. Moreover, with so little agreement over what happened, and why it happened, it has been extremely difficult to create any consensus around memory. These divisions have been seen at all levels, but take on particular importance when linked to the great traumatic and life-changing events of the Twentieth century - war, terrorism, disaster - but can also be applied to more cultural fields such as sport and everyday life.
Social change also has an impact on memory.