For so many years her nights had been more similar to escapes than to moments of quietness. Her husband slept too close to her and often he crushed her body with his, almost suffocating her. So she tried to distance herself from him, but he got even closer, ‘till, in her desperate attempt to gain a little of space, she found herself on the edge of the bed ( many times she fell down). In Winter there was also the battle for blankets. Her husband cocooned in covers, while her teeth were chattering for cold. She could only pull the covers with all her strength and hold them tight. Day after day she got used to sleep seizing the mattress with one hand and with the other holding the blankets. A habit that went on even when she was awake; always feeling on the edge of a chasm, clinging to life with one hand, holding her few certainties with the other one and having the haunting sensation that somebody was going to crush her.
Rain was humming the perfect soundtrack for that afternoon. On the unmade bed, really unmade, the creased sheets uselessly covered their bodies. They weren’t sheets anymore, but a tantalizing invitation to wrap and unwrap lovers’ mutual exploration. In a grey light warmed by the yellowish orange blazes of the fireplace two people were stretching, snuggling and purring like lazy cats yet ebullient was their search of hidden recesses of pleasure. They kissed on their skins the words that their souls spoke. Their hands were tracing the lines of a superior design: love is the greatest artist of all. Fortunately the pale blue wallpaper couldn’t hear or see, thus it couldn’t blush. The angel in the painting shyly watched the window where rain was drawing its watery laces. The old bed was squeaking their passionate assaults; indiscreet bed! It had witnessed so many battles that it couldn’t help spreading rumours.
Giggles and sly looks, a wide stillness fading into dazzled rapture and then, again the rush, the hunger of a furious, unbounded tangle.
Hours lingered in an expansion of their merging selves, but clock, for them, was only an object hanging on the wall.
She was stepping out that day of roving thoughts and dull stillness. A day that wore the misty clothes of her anxiety sewed with the threads of her annoying troubles. But she wasn’t thinking about her troubles. Something was incessantly spinning in her mind. It was such a long time that nobody gave her a present. She didn’t regret that much. Objects had never had so much value for her. What she really missed was that halo of affection that usually is hidden behind a present. “You’re dear to me, thus I give you a present”. Affection, that’s what she missed most. Her soul was like a garden that hadn’t been watered for a long time. A soul’s water is that loving attention that makes feelings flourish. Her feelings were dry and wilted. She couldn’t imagine what kind of present she would have wished.
She took her pen and she started writing down on her notebook the words she had in her head.
Give me a smile and I’ll pin it
on the board of my soul.
I’ll look at it in my bitter hours
just to remember
the sweetest side.
Give me a reason to smile
and I’ll treasure it in my heart forever
just to remember
that there always a road to walk down.
She dropped the pen, she drew the curtain of that day while thinking:
“Another tomorrow is coming. Who knows? Maybe a smile will come too.”
A pallor of opal and pearl is trying to split the density of a gluey, steamy darkness. It’s dawn that stubbornly strives to scrunch up the night with its luminescent fingers. But if light can win the dark, it can’t tear the drape of my unwillingness to get rid of this damp, warm restlessness. Because the night has your disarming smile and I’m still lingering in its smooth coils of seduction and I would eagerly scratch my nail on its back if I was sure to leave the traces of my haunting desire on your damned craved skin, if this darkness was really your body. Profound and annihilating a feeling of frustration petrifies me as my arms close up to embrace air instead of you. Disconsolately I bury my face in my pillow while heavy tears come to my eyes. My tempting angel I can’t have the solace of your feathery touch, I can’t feel your hand run over my desolate incompleteness. Noises of the new day insult my ears, pierce my soul. They call me back to my reality, dawn has won its battle. I’m here aimlessly fluttering my wings in the rattling cages of this hostile time, struggling for a freedom that has your voice. As usual my imagination comes to rescue me and I can hear you whispering the words I long for. Simple yet impactful words. “I love you” you’re saying and I re-live.
“You’re gorgeous” he said but she didn’t believe him, she knew that she wasn’t gorgeous. But she wanted to escape from the loneliness where she had been imprisoned. She had got accustomed to that loneliness, but she had never accepted it, thus she couldn’t wait to find a way to get out of it. In that moment she thought that he was the way that she was looking for. “You’re gorgeous” he kept on saying , but, in fact, he hated her and all that she was. A hatred that he couldn’t restrain and came out in all the insults that he rumbled on. That phrase “You’re gorgeous” murmured in those moments for her was only another odious offence. His hate deeply permeated her soul, shattering her self-confidence and her hope, moreover she felt guilty and ashamed. She thought that she deserved to be treated that way. She felt sordid and dirty. She confined herself in silence, hiding herself behind a role to play. Nobody had to know the underlying tragedy of her life. Nevertheless she couldn’t hide the truth to herself. When she looked in the mirror she could clearly see a grimace on her face and that wrinkle between her eyebrows. She knew that her Springtime was fading, it wasn’t Autumn that she was fearing. That deep crease on her skin was the symbol of her worries and her sorrows. She was loath to see what she had become. A puppet without a soul. She was tired to suffer and mope. She wanted to remember how she was before. Sometimes she got lost in long à rebours that gave her the illusion of a blissful relief. The oblivion that she used as a curtain was beginning to vanish. She didn’t want to hide anymore, she wanted to find traces of her. She wanted to know if there were people who still had memories of her; there were and they spoke about a person who loved to smile and laugh, who eagerly shared her passions and her emotions. She clung with her nails to all the words they said. A new hope was creeping in her mind. But her life ran on divergent tracks. On one track ran her renewed craving for a different life, on the other her reality. The gap between the two tracks was something heinous. Every time she looked around seeking new shores, she found him and his rage pounding into her life again. She crumbled. Her wish to reach heaven was only making her grieve more. The contrast was too cruel. It was better to go back to hell, to cast herself in the ghetto where lepers live. Where nobody can see your rotten flesh and the worms, not words, that come out from your mouth. Hell and oblivion again, so she couldn’t feel the pain of a choked life anymore. She knew well this sensation of complete surrender to an irrefutable reality. She recognized it. She had breathed it since she was a little girl, when it forced her mother to sit on an armchair all day long and smoke her life off. It was depression. Harm and protection at the same time. The false friend that makes you believe that it’s better to lock up inside instead of facing a shitty life. But even though she knew it so well, when she tried to shake it from her shoulders, raising her head she could only see empty rooms, bars and walls.
Being me means nothing. It’s just me, plain me, with no added value. Words that I speak to myself, thoughts that remain wrapped in cocoons of undefined nothingness, aborted ideas.
And silence, a lot of silence. So when you are forced to keep everything for yourself, without having the pleasure to share what you feel, to discuss projects or whatever, you slowly start to delete all the things that look superfluous, till you become a basic version of yourself. With no added value.
As snows falls in mute flakes nevertheless it transforms the landscape, when you impacted on me not a sound came from my hushed lips although a blast was silently spreading, disrupting my love-proof soul. My self-control that had always been so efficient slowly surrendered to this unknown feeling revealing all that I had hidden or tried to erase. A joy that had never had the chance to emerge, suddenly burst in the most unbridled way. I called you with so many names and probably I made you smile, but I couldn’t explain differently what I felt. The words I couldn’t speak I wrote, never getting tired to describe those heartbreaking sensations that made my heart throb minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day till you became my life itself. I soon realized it wasn’t the same for you, but I couldn’t get rid of the most sublime addiction of all. I had enough love for the both of us. But I went too far. I gambled my life without having an ace, playing my cards on a too risky game, clinging to the alea of an unpredictable feeling. I sank and soared at the same time. My life was destroyed, my love flew. Too much. It was too much. Now I’m licking my wounds knowing that all that I’ve done makes no sense for you. You have kept on going your way and I’ve never claimed nothing more. Lately I’ve been reconsidering all the situation. Bizarre, weird….I really went nuts. I’ve been a fool. Maybe I had to listen to my rationality. But I can’t give up on this love, because as foolish and odd as it can be, it would be like accepting to live on an endless darkness, it would be like refusing to breathe. I made up my mind that I’m your satellite, drawing my skewed, asymmetric orbits around you. So, unless the law of gravity will be questioned, I’ll be there rotating for you.
I can clearly remember my house. It had a green roof, wooden floors and a lovely wallpaper with little pink roses adorned all the rooms. There was a cute pink sofa and my cat always slept on it. The curtains were pink too and near one of the windows there was a little, nice piano. Everything was beautiful and joyful and I was happy to live there. How pretty and cozy was my house!
I don’t know why I’m here now, in this place with bars on the windows. Everything is white and cold. They always wear white clothes and they are always here, even in the night. They are kind to me: they give me food, they wash me, they change the sheets on my bed because sometimes something wrong happens and I wet my bed.
You Mum, you often come to visit me and usually you are kind too. But you always cry. Why do you cry, Mum? I’m fine. This place is white and cold, but I’m fine. Sometimes you stare at me with a strange look and ask me a lot of questions and I can’t understand why you get angry and you shake me shouting that it isn’t true that I lived in a pretty house.
Why Mum? Why don’t you believe me? Why are you so mean to me? You know, you know that when you behave this way that dreadful nightmare comes again and scares me to death. Always the same……
……I’m in a room, I turn my head and I notice that the door is open and I don’t know why the door is open because I’m sure to be alone. Suddenly that shadow, that man without a face, his hand pressed on my mouth. He forces me to the floor. Oh, my God! His hands all over my body, his disgusting words and such a searing pain that it seems that he’s tearing my flesh apart. I try to escape but he’s much stronger than me. I want to scream, but fear chokes me . I close my eyes……..darkness. Darkness is better than pain, better than grief. When I open them again I see blood. Blood everywhere, on my clothes, on my legs, on the floor……….
Why Mum? Why do you do this to me? You know how frightening is that nightmare. So frightening that every time I feel like dying. I try to cast it from my mind and I hit the wall with my head till my nose starts bleeding. Then they come, they hold me tight and they tie my hands. I scream and shout because anguish is so unbearable that I want to smash everything.
Fortunately they call the other man. Doctor Harris…yes..they say Doctor Harris. Doctor Harris is good. I always put my head on his shoulder and I cry. My tears and my blood smear his white clothes. He tells me that it’s over and he gives me some bitter candies that make me feel better. Doctor Harris is really good. He believes me. He knows that I lived in a little, pretty, cozy house.