In Italy – part 2

4.The first owner of the house had taken away the church bells from the village in the valley below in the year 1942. He got shot a few weeks before the end of the war. Nobody knew where he hid the bells. His granddaughter now holds the keys. I met her on the last day, a woman with a soft embrace and a smile that travels over the horizons.

The in between days were spent in and outside the mansion. I walked stairs and got disorientated all the time, opened doors to unexpected rooms, moved around as if in a cabinet of empty dreams. The trees were moved by the carresses of the winds. The light of day pushed the landscape to beauty’s extremes.

Michele, in my eyes, is a hero. He talks and talks with a loud voice and every word is a component of a world under construction. This big house will be a refuge, a place where friends make new friends, cook, eat, drink and somehow sleep together. And when the evening gets deeper and deeper, the spirals of the milky way clearly visible in an even deeper evening sky, the music starts. All come, lay down and take off.

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5. The motorway to Bologna, night has fallen; all around us is a Van Gogh sky filled with fire balls. Michele tells stories about his past life in the town we’re heading for. With every confession the remaining distance seems to increase.

When we were still daylighted, the van, following old donkey cart trails, became a poor man’s chariot. Driving through a mountainous land of which Michele indicated each and every path, we approached Predappio, the village where Musolini was born. “Watch this alley,” he said, and I ducked my head to see the buildings, that looked clean and unreal as if they were built as a decor to street scenes that history had never witnessed.

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Back in the darkness, the roar of the motor, Michele talked of Pasolini, recites his words while the car eats kilometers of asphalt. I hear pity and regret, in both of them, feelings that envelope a time that held the promise of something better. We, now, live that ‘something better.’ We look back into an era full of things unknown; for its inhabitants, then, it was filled with a desire to explore, to expand or to disappear in the timelessness of an age that would never end.

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6. “Carissima P., I think we can meet everywhere, even in an anonymous bar that tries so hard to fit in into a trend. I move away from the conscious stream of existence when listening to you. Or maybe I should say, I dissolve in your hypnotic way of talking, as if deep in you a chorus of a Greek play resounds, its glowing welcomeness of a landscape beyond myth and mysterie. Nothing is myth nor mysterie with you. We shared dreams and sounds, and somehow we seem to share a knowledge of that landscape.

You know, the after-evening, when you and S. returned to your exile in the woods, I was brought to a small apartment above the portici nearby. When the door was opened to a dark black hole, I tried to step inside but was held by a gigantic blow against my stomach. I stepped back and paused. I was facing the devil’s ass. Big black butterflies escaped from it. I took a deep breath, fought my repulsion – in the end we’re all human.

The next day I walked to the station, a long walk and nowhere a bar where I liked to get a cappuccino and a cornetto. Our talk the day before had already disappeared from my memory. We don’t have a place for our memory, dear P. We descend from it. Un forte abbraccio, R.”

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