Francesca’s room is bright spacious. Two large windows with embroidered curtains give it the feel of the light-thirsty rooms of northern Europe. It is furnished with a bed and a sofa. On the floor are lots of rugs and cushions. Francesca goes from the room to the adjoining wardrobe, choosing garments and stopping pensively now and again.
From the doorway, Giulio continues to observe her in silence. She looks at him and walks over to stroke him. – When I was little I had a teddy bear with the same name as you. Giulio the bear. He was my favourite. Continua a leggere
In her room she rummages through the things she has already packed. Meanwhile, Giulio comes through and leans on the door frame. He silently watches her fiddling with her case, then he comments: – So you’re going tomorrow!
– It’s work, mumbles Francesca tersely, without lifting her head.
Giulio wanders about the room, then runs a hand through his hair and continues, with some embarrassment: – Did I miss an opportunity last night?
Francesca does not spare him the icy words: – Today too, come to that.
Giulio presses her further: – An opportunity that may not arise again?
Francesca smiles: – I don’t know about that.
Giulio looks at her: – I’m struggling to understand your conditions. Continua a leggere
Monica stands up and starts to lay cushions out on the floor. She takes off her shoes, commenting: – I couldn’t resist them when I saw them in the shop window, but they are incredibly uncomfortable. She lies on the floor. Francesca sits down next to her and leans on the back of an armchair. Giulio lies down in the middle. Francesca starts caressing his neck and shoulders.
– That’s bliss, chirrups Giulio. I really needed this massage. Continua a leggere
Giulio rings the bell and waits in front of the entrance to Monica’s apartment block.
Monica comes down (dress with a plunging neckline, high heels, long skirt with a split up the side. Over her dress, a skimpy cape to keep the November fog at bay).
– Always discreetly dressed, you.
– Don’t you like my look?
– I like it. Sometimes I like it a bit too much. But aren’t we going to see Francesca today?
Monica laughs and leads the way. Continua a leggere
In autumn, as the days grow dark early, she has never liked being on her own. A flock of birds in a semi-park near her home makes her think of her own departure. What she is leaving and what she will find. She is leaving a semi-relationship with her best friend’s best friend. She smiles. In an age where people jump into bed together and ask each other’s names later, they are among the few to have been seeing each other for months, who want each other, but have never made love. Continua a leggere
A supermarket in Trieste. Rattling trolleys whizz by. The meeting place for souls roving in pursuit of all the unnecessaries indispensable to life. Hands reach out towards shelves in a spasmodic and compulsive quest. Odourless food is everywhere. Oh, for the life of a souq with all its foul smells!, thinks Francesca, pushing her trolley hurriedly. Continua a leggere
Il giorno seguente prendono l’aereo per Ushuaia. La montagna sul mare. Ghiacciai, castori, foche e pinguini. Un mondo vastissimo. Incontaminato. Il pensiero della natura e della sua potenza domina la mente di Francesca. Tutti dovrebbero venire una volta o l’altra in Patagonia, pensa, tutti dovrebbero vedere almeno una volta nella vita i geyser dell’Irlanda o un vulcano in eruzione. Perderebbero un po’ della loro presunzione. Continua a leggere
Al ritorno si prende l’aereo per Bahia Blanca e poi da lì si prosegue verso Sud. Il viaggio non è faticoso. I bus che percorrono le vaste distese della Patagonia sono comodi, quando si prenota il posto si può persino scegliere tra una cama o una semicama e stendersi a dormire durante i lunghi percorsi. Anche le strade un tempo sterrate sono in buono stato. Continua a leggere
L’aereo atterra a Punta Arenas. Una lunga frenata che sembra non voler mai finire. Francesca guarda l’ora. Quasi in orario. Scende e raggiunge i compagni di lavoro. La base è situata in un albergo arroccato sul mare. Spalanca la finestra. Il vento soffia forte. Decide di scendere al mare. Una sciarpa attorno al collo. I corti capelli che si dividono in righe sottili sotto la sferza del vento. In faccia schizzi d’acqua gelata. Continua a leggere