Between a table and another you can count three steps. All squared tables are wooden, with a small tablecloth. On top of each table stands a small dusty plastic plant. Two steps more and S. cuts the breath in two with wrinkled lips aghast, horrified by that human noise.
All around him, the feet wearing dirty trainers move between tables, while mouths are passing from one conversation to the other so fast and smooth that you cannot understand a single word anymore. This is a human soup with not so much meat but really tasty juice. Spicy conversations are carried out by yellow teeth due to too much coffees and house wines.
Everyone shows shadows of smiles through the wrinkles of their faces. Their real human faces, I mean. When a human dies you can open up its face and read more than if he or she wrote it in a personal diary. For instance, imagine one of those that always forget how to smile. In this case, their face will show weak facial muscles all around the mouth. At the opposite, whom always corrugates his forehead will leave tonic muscles for a curious forensic. Wrinkles are rivers, invisible roads, natural passages to reach our passions.
A brand new world
And again red faces, ruddy cheeks, neckline sparkling with sweat and tattooed arms speaking as they were singing, moving their backs over Cain and Abel style chairs. Too much, for whom since yesterday was walking over waxed white Asian soundproofed floors.
Addio piccolo Cherubino. Come cangia in un punto il tuo destino!
A crazy day
Yes, it really seems to be a follee journèe, a crazy day. Started in a metro wagon, to be continued outside the shadows of building, in another train a bit more noisy than the first one. Along with that, now, a place illuminated by the sun. The kind of place, the countryside, that comes to mind to citizens of the metropolis only when smog clouds start being an unbreathable mask for them. Then there were two steps out of the train and out, at the train station.
Central Station T.
Cherubino alla vittoria! Alla gloria militar!
The battle for survival definitely started. One last step toward the trench, the human contact. This is the real human contact, the one that only the bipeds equipped with nose and opposable thumb are able to do. Words.
A whisper, audible only by three flies scratching their heads and waiting to attack a breadcrumb on the table close- by.
Repeat (this time stronger) S. attracting the attention of the innkeeper and scaring the three insects. A warty- nose man without an ear replies with a deep voice
Which, given the situation, is still something. The steps back up nearly falling down. I’m a pair of shoes at the mercy of two insecure feet.
Could I please have a table?
The voice now is a bit more confident, the eyebrow raised in the commanding style. The communicative effort is impressive. You can see the answer coming from a slow process in the primitive brain of the one- ear man.
Thus plus a nod seem to indicate a small round table. A different one, not squared as all the others in the busy noisy restaurant.
Yes, a brand new world
Right, it’s not even close to the white Asian material we were used to, but in the end you can see the innkeeper made an effort to give S. the best option available. On the table the classic plastic plant and a coconut- shaped ashtray. The glance of the man of tomorrow, seated in the middle of the buzz, seems to get lost. It jumps from one conversation to the other, roaming from mouths full of food to hand moving.
Even though I didn’t listen to him ordering any food, a steaming dish appears from nowhere. Maybe he ordered in a silent way. One of those human way of saying
Do as you wish
Sometimes with just one look they solve all useless questions. After all, the hunger is knocking louder at the stomach’s walls, so this steaming dish is the only answer available.
The left leg start moving again, showing nervousness in the mute language of the lower limb. The effect is immediate: I feel myself as having an endless hiccup.
And as all the hiccup, this one needs to get scared to stop. A gentleman with fuchsia socks and neat nails looks S. from a near table. He’s waiting for a reaction.
S. Say what?
You cannot really say if he’s introducing himself or just stammering.
Can I join you?
No, probably is more likely a stammer than an introduction
Are you feel ok? Comfortable?
The voice is deep, as coming to the surface of the world with a rotten wood bucket and a rusty pulley.
Yes, yes. Why are you asking?
I don’t know, you have a face…
Oh, you have a face as well
You’re right. But it seems to me that you face specifically saw better times
The noise of conversations, the clutter of dishes and cutlery, cheers and crying of children make all this conversation a bit surreal.
The truth is that for me this is a strange world. I’m an alien, here. I come from the metropolis
Oh, I guessed that
I’m S., I’m a dealer of souls
I don’t really know anymore…
No, I mean, my name is Y.
Oh, I’m so sorry, I thought… Anyways, what is your job?
Let’s say I’m a mediator
Oh, a mediator between whom?
Between what you already know and what you want to know
Mmm a dealer of lamps and nose, I would say
Ah, ah. Yes, let’s say only noses. I leave the lamps to you
You’re not from here as well, then
No, I came here escaping from the noise, but now I’m craving for it
No defences, anymore
This entire conversation, this chatting, has almost destroyed the last defence of my pointy- moustache man. In all this chaos, who can be such a distinguished gentleman, but at the same time with such a grim?
Oh, right. It was so clear all the way. Keen eye, jaw clenching and a big fist. He’s a policeman or a tracker for sure.
And then, suddenly he stands up leaving a business card on the table.
If you need me, you know where to find me. Enjoy your meal
And before S. can say something, he’s gone. An invisible shadow passing through the tables and leaving.
And the dish on the table is not steaming anymore.
This story will be published once per week only, with all rights reserved for the story and its translations by Flyingstories.org and in the person of Daniele Frau.
All the graphics are handmade and designed with different techniques by Gabriele Manca, DMQ productions, who reserves all rights.
All English articles published in Souls (alive) proofread by Elisabeth Corcoran
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