When I went “home” last December, I found an old notebook, half broken, where I had written some short stories. I had completely forgotten about it, something that was out of my emotional memory. This is the translation of one of those short stories.
“This year, again , it is my birthday and she is late. They have promised me a beautiful party with kids, grandchildren, great-grand children. I guess I will be the guest of honour “ She looked at her white wrinkled hands, withered by the time.
They were slightly trembling but she could not stand it so she was always with her hands joined softly on her lap. She was waiting for somebody or something since long time.
“I wish I could remember exactly the time when I started to run away from myself…I was probably still young but I did not realise it. Maybe it happened when I got pregnant for the first time…”
She looked at the fireplace, the crackling flame and the same old scent of damp wood when she was a child lost in reveries of gnomes and enchanted forests .
“ Beautiful, this is what I was told since I was born, and I was running after my image. I loved myself in fragments because we did not have a big mirror in our house. I could see my hair curled with the hot iron, or my moist lips, or my long pants or my breast or my arms. I could put my image together after many years when I was trying a dress in a shop. I had already had three children and I froze in front of this stranger who was blushing childish in the big mirror.”
She closed her eyes, letting herself indulge in the old memories; they were so clear that she could feel her heart pounding like many years before. She always had an extraordinary memory which would not let her be free from the past.
“I guess I know now, that I am very old, the uneasiness of my life. I have run after my body because it was the only thing I owned. It was the key to open the door to a better life. I was scared to be late so I got married very young and this body of mine took life. It started to live for him, the first man who told me “good morning” with a warm smile. But I was not myself anymore. Where was I? I gave myself to him, beating the rhythm of my life with pregnancies and miscarriages. My life went by… He did not get old; he was not embracing life like and old accordion out of tune… He was still charming with his grey moustache and his ex-officer’s noble bearing, always kind to anybody. Even to me… because I was... anybody.” One tear rolled down through the sweet hills of her wrinkles. “They are still salty” she thought sadly. The fire was still crackling, warming up her fragile body. A shiver went through her body, shaking her from the immobility.
She thought she should cook something but she was feeling empty.
“ I wanted to be immortal but I lived for the others. My husband, my kids, my family. I did not enjoy my own existence because I humbled myself in the love for them and time has gone by so quickly…what a bad joke. I am alone with this body that does not belong to me. I do not want it, it is not mine , it belongs to someone else…” She closed her eyes again trying to control her breathing, the heart pounding wildly.
An external observer would have thought she was dead because of her immobility. But her vivid mind was thinking that ,again this year Death was late.
Love & Rainbow