TEXT BY PAOLA MORETTI IN COLLABORATION WITH TEODORA PASQUINELLI
Now that you’re outside again breathe, look up.
Don’t worry if the sky is of a compact grey, if it looks like an ancient burial shroud, the sun is still shining above the clouds and it will shine tomorrow too.
Start walking, anti-clockwise, slowly, slower.
Do you remember that time we walked together along the Thames? You had to keep your windcheater closed with your hands because the zip broke. The cold November air pressed lifeless leaves against our moving shins.
Watch out! Don’t step on that cobblestone! Did you know that this square has 23.752 cobblestones? Check it if you need, count the ones on this side, then those on that side, do the math and you’ll see: 23.752. But you can’t step on this one: it’s feeling a bit blue. We were talking the other day, it told me it has low self-esteem, it has the impression everyone treads on it.
Ha! Did you see it? Someone just peeked out of the window up there. A childish face flashed behind the glass on the second story of the brick building. I’d had time to see ginger curls and pale, freckled skin. Was she spying on us?
When I was younger I thought a red-bearded giant played with humans the same way a child plays with Barbies. I tried to imagine how would it be, to think you have some decisional power, but actually it’s someone else who’s manoeuvring you. I felt sorry for the Barbies.
Once I looked down and I saw a swarm of humanoid ants aiming hurriedly in every direction, I felt envious of the red-bearded giant.
Maybe the spy-kid is his descendant.
If it were night, those plexiglas pipes would light up in neon colours. I don’t know how would they feel in being walked upon, but if I could I’d definitely do it. And I’d imagine that they were suspended at nine meters height and that I were a funambulist and that my husband, the lion tamer, would be there to catch me if I’d fall. I would wear a chenille bodysuit, aquamarine blue with silver glitter on the arms and ankles. My man would have a blond mane. I like your hair. What shampoo do you use?
Music. There’s a young couple sat next to the black sculpture in the middle of the square. It look like an uncarved, gloomier Pietà. It sounds like samba, the music, I mean. I quite miss Brazilian drums. I’ve heard quite a few drum groups here, but I didn’t alway like them. I met quite a few drummers. Most of them named Dave, don’t ask me why. Also Nirvana’s drummer is called Dave. It isn’t such a rhythmical name, Dave, I mean.
The sun stopped shunning us, it’s making its much-waited appearance. Rays plunge through the clouds like spaghettis through a strainer with oversized holes. One of them hits the tiny crown on the top of the left cupola, as if to underline its royalty. The reflex is blazing.
Someone told me that if I had looked the to the sun light reflected on a mirror for more than five seconds I would have been blinded. I tell the cobblestone that the student’s protrudent canine was actually a transplanted shark tooth and that he’s now bald because when he was young he was a punk with green, spiky hair and once he was sleeping in the grass a cow chewed off his Mohican.
Where’s the fire exit? I wonder why the ‘fire exit’ sign isn’t red.
We don’t have much time left. But you can meet me whenever you want, you should know how to find me. And if you temporary forget, answer the kid questions as accurately as possible, even at his 20th ‘why?’ Smile at a person sitting with you on the tube. Don’t worry about looking creepy, she will smile you back, maybe not outright, maybe only innerly, but she will smile nonetheless.
When that silly thought reach the verge of your mouth blurt it out a make somebody laugh.
Look at my face, breathe, look up, kneel before me and beg. Not because I’m am so powerful, but because you finally realised that I’m necessary to your survival. I’m glad you’ve acknowledged that.