“By participating in a hundred kilometers all other distances are annihilated.”100km del passatore
(I quickly write two lines while the house is sleeping. It will be impossible after that. Noo, you understand, it’s me who can’t do it differently.)
“By participating in a hundred kilometers all other distances are annihilated.”
A circular journey.
..I find myself catapulted on the dock of Principe station. Waiting for the 7.47 train to Pisa
in addition to those who commit this sheet, beyond the many assailed by the desire for the sea, summer, heat and holidays. In addition to wandering and nomadic tourists for real, here is the silvery foliage of Roberto Bolognesi between the wall and the stairs of the underpass.
A wave with a hand as a sign of greeting just to get me out of the hindrance of shyness, a smile and his desire to ask me: “… where are you going.” IS..
Short cut.Firenzemi hurried to answer him. Dry! Roberto, attentive and sensitive, understands this attitude of mine.
“Yes, because I don’t want that name and I don’t intend to pronounce it, I want to defend myself from it.”
An identical situation will occur three quarters of the way up the Colla, when Giuseppe Lusetti, overtaking me at triple speed, scarring me: “Oh Gilbe, you could have told me that you would have come too!”
Me: “I’m not here, I’m not there.”
He: “How are you?”
Me: “Can’t you see I’m walking, that’s how I’m doing!”
(.. this in the meantime, in the evening and the switchbacks swallowed him up.)
Where did I stay? Ah yes, here is good Roberto. The carriage number divides us.
We say goodbye and refer to Pisa.
The journey flows on tracks of beauty: the sea, the sun, the Riviera. It seems to be in front of the TV chasing postcards in motion.
I love traveling by train.
Moreover, only the long, rigid and fragmented convoys are full of stories of life and iron, and unique, such as a javelin, penetrate the city side, splitting the heart in the center.
At the change, Roberto waits for me and drives to the next train, even showing me where to put the luggage. I let myself be led and “open” to the uncontrolled desire that he has to describe the path: Roby, a consummate actor, will recite his most beautiful monologue. A magnificent interpretation, I am kidnapped, his eyes glisten.
He relives his experience meter by meter, curve, slope, descent after curve, refreshment fatigue pain. That desire to stay under fifteen hours. So it was, I was a triumph .. that year there was also Picket.
Florence is a hot orgy of beauty. A tangle of inanimate bodies that intertwine with sweaty flesh
of excited bipeds ready to throw themselves into that wild pile of sex, bricks and marble.
They come from everywhere, mixing with the magnificence that dominates their garments: uses, customs, dissimilar skin smells … colors.
Roby leads me by the hand to Piazza della Repubblica. I will never see him again. I thank him and say hello, posthumously.
(spread the word .. who met him)
Thousands of limbs are concentrated around the square, in the shadow of the arcades, stretched out and spread out.
In the center, on the other hand, the yellow obelisk of the sky is overlooking everything. Mother star, incandescent forge in which we will end up burned alive. Worked along the hairpin bends that go up to Fiesole, made first formless and finished. Exhausted!
In the beginning, the journey, the son of his debut, such at all paths, similar to equal walks and explorations, is pregnant with joy. An excitement born from the departure.
Everything overwhelms and surprises me: the insecurity of the first steps, when nothing is still up, nothing owed and it’s all to sweat.
Every stride makes a debut, every breath the first time. A unique path, stuffed with beginnings. I have no responsibility, nothing oppresses except the sun that crushes and smears the face, on the asphalt, by sticking the wax mask! I think of what I did to be where I wanted to be: I turn around, look behind my back and see the road taken to build the possibility, not the certainty, of being able to do it.
Everything else remains in the middle: the kilometers, the effort, your limits, the reality. The presumption is assailed by the doubt of having acted and supposed probably assuming.
And then, silently, it is necessary to renounce the idea of ”perfection” to build a different ending that is not tragic but nevertheless theatrical!
I walk like a patient, I go on desperately going up the hairpin bends that lead eternally to the Colla pass. I do it with my head bowed, my eyes on the ground, the pride buried by the myriad of overtaking that I undergo. Anyone who joins me, chews and spits on the ground such an American gum that has no more taste, knows nothing. An easy target. A ghost in the day does not scare anyone, if anything it makes you smile.
At the pass I don’t know what to do, it makes no sense: the windbreaker, the shirt change, the front, the gels .. what they are for. I take the cloth bag with the strings, the one the kids use to understand each other, hang on the shoulders and continue.
Coming down, the night comes to my rescue by wrapping me in a cloak of air and wind. The darkness does the rest preventing me from looking at the monster that never satiates devours.
Outside the body I have the opportunity to listen, a continuous monitoring of the muscles and organs. The fireflies suggest the contours of the road. The crickets the steps of the heart: the frogs, the toads, the wild ducks, who knows what other animals of the forest rhythm the sighs.
Every noise is deafening, finally abandonment to fate, agile and light, naked of me.
The moon is a sail that brushes against the gloomy crests of the vault.
I go to fate one piece at a time. Portions of five kilometers separate the refreshment points from each other.
You cannot look at the entire distance, a bit like in life: one day at a time.
I greet the flowers, insects, animals, trees and bushes, streams of water; all the elements that accompanied me on this journey. The time for a smile and a few tears at the finish, however, is not over. I have the train to take, the change in Bologna. Finally Ronco Scrivia, so as to complete that circular sense of departure and return.
(Here’s how I anticipated. I stop. House comes to life ..)
“A journey to be complete must be circular. The happiness of leaving and the joy of returning .. home.”