Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Prison 4

My memories of the trial are quite vague. I remember the judge, a distinguished woman in her late fifties, her hair just starting to turn grey. I remember my lawyer, brilliant example of incompetence and dishonesty. I remember the family of the bastard I killed. I remember his mother’s eyes, hot pokers which bored in to the back of my head day after day, burning with an all consuming hate, smoldering with an intense desire to see me punished, to see me pay.

“Is there anything else you would like to add before we adjourn to discuss the case” asks the judge almost kindly

I stare ahead and shake my head

“You understand this is your last chance?” she repeats almost tenderly

I nod and try to smile at her.

“Está bien, Manuel, take him away”

Manuel is surprisingly gentle for such a big man. One of his big hairy hands wraps itself tenderly around my forearm and leads me away. We walk past the accusing glares of “his” family, the tears, the hate that permeates the courtroom like a bitter fog. A young man with an orange shirt, obviously a cousin or a friend, spits on the floor as I pass. A younger girl insults me, her lips curled up in an animalesque snarl.

My captor leads me past the crowds, through a narrow passage way and tells me to stop in front of an oak door. He takes out a bunch of large angular keys and opens the door with the faintest sound of creaking hinges. We both enter a small, sparsely furnished room, similar to any room anywhere. Manuel points the only chair, an old rickety thing with a straw back and crooked legs, and tells me to sit. Satisfied by the fact that I comply, he leans against the wall, takes a deep breath and takes out a packet of Marlboros. The acrid smell of cigarette smoke drifts towards me.

“Do you want to smoke?” asks Manuel

I look at him. He is truly a big man, probably close to two meters tall, with huge bulging shoulders and an even larger barrel chest. His large course hands and scarred cheeks contrast sharply with a pair of small but apparently kind and patient eyes. I take the cigarette he is offering and thank him. He lights it with an old silver lighter and I start to take long desperate pulls. I drag the smoke in to my lungs and enjoy the feeling. My hands shake.

“Don’t worry, chico, they wont take long” he continues. “Give it an hour or so and they will come call us”

“You are not from here, are you? Brasilero? he asks

I tell him I am Italian. I am from Rome.

“Ah, un Tano! My grandfather was Italian” he starts. “Came from Genoa without anything to his name, only three silver pieces hidden in his belt”

How interesting I reply. In effect nearly every single Argentinean has at least one Italian grandfather, all of which got here with nothing to their name.
Manuel starts telling me some stupid anecdote about his grandfather but I stop listening. His voice drones on but the sound doesn’t bother me. It is quite a low melodious voice and he utters every sentence with an obstinate slowness which proves calming and soothing.
I try not thinking about my situation. I try not thinking about whether they will send me to jail. And yet I can’t stop myself. I know I have to call my parents back in Italy. They still have no idea that their son is in an Argentinean court awaiting judgment. They are still blissfully unaware of the drama that soon will seek them out.

“And that is why we always had an Italian flag above the fire place” finishes Manuel

I pull myself out of my reverie and turn my head so that I can see my guard. I open my mouth to spit out some reply. Resentment fills my mouth with its acrid twang and I want to hurt the stupid man with my words. I want to scream at him, shout at him that I couldn’t give a fuck about his damned grandfather. That my life is about to end and that I hate him, I hate all of them, all of them who are going to be able to keep living their lives as always. All those people who will still be able to feel the wind in their faces, to take in the scent of cut grass, to watch the pretty girls walk to and through on Calle Florida. I open my mouth and stop. Someone has turned the keys and the big oak door is slowly opening.

Prison 3

I must have dozed off for a couple of minutes but is hard to tell. They have taken away my watch along with every other single item I had on me this morning. The scant light that enters via the grate is refracted and insipid and gives me no clue as to what time it is.
I am starting to feel quite hungry but burry the sensation quickly as I have no idea if and when they will feed me. I desperately want a cigarette but they have been taken from me as well. I get angry. I kick the door hard and am greeted by a dull metal thud. I throw myself against the door and still it barely moves. I punch the warm metal plate repeatedly, first with my open palms and then with my clenched fists. The skin on my knuckles start to split and pearls of crimson blood spatter on the smooth surface and run down my wrists. I make no noise, simply stand there, legs apart, pounding the metal door with my bloodied fists over and over again consumed by a bleak and resentful anger.

Prison (explained)

Well, as you can see, I have (once again) started writing a novel. I decided to download bits on to my blog so as to have an extra incentive to write every day. Any advice is welcome seeing as the book aint too good up to now! If you get bored of eading it, dont worry, I doubt I will last too long

Monday, January 16, 2006

Prison 2

Buenos Aires was beautiful in the summer heat. Scantily clad girls would roam the streets of the micro centro, their beautiful long tanned legs eating up the distances with disinterested boredom. The stifling humid heat would envelop the passing crowds, embracing them with its languid caress, making them skittish and lazy at the same time.
Every day, come lunchtime, I would escape from my air-conditioned office and brave the multitudes in the hopes of finding a little table or, at least a quite corner, where to eat.
That Monday I had taken with me my assistant, Bernardo, who was trying to convince me, once again, that it wasn’t simply too hot to eat pizza.

“How about pizza?” he starts. “Dale, we haven’t been in ages” he insists

I do not answer but instead give him a look which aims to portray exasperation. Bernardo would eat pizza every single day if it wasn’t for me. Even simply mentioning the stuff makes him start to glow with an unnatural radiance, his voice slightly cracking with emotion.

“Fair enough, what would you like to eat then?” he continues slightly abashed

Once again I do not answer but instead, haven taken pity on his puppy dog look, head for Pizza Express, fine establishment on the corner with Calle Peron.
We order some food and sit down at a rickety plastic table where Bernardo starts wolfing down his double Faena with ham. I use my plastic fork to chase my slice of pizza around the plate and, disenchanted, try some. The pizza isn’t actually that bad, rubbery and a touch thick for my Italian palate, but definitely not the worst in town. However today my heart isn’t in it and I quickly push my plate aside and light a cigarette.
I watch Bernardo eating for a while. His big dark eyes, swimming with concentration, he eats his food methodically as though afraid a little crumble might escape him. He chews slowly every morsel and swallows with evident pleasure.

I ask him about his weekend

“Mmm, yeah, it wasn’t bad. Took out Laila for dinner on Friday, you know that place on Honduras, and on Saturday went out with the chicos to Mint. You?”

I tell him that I went out with a girl called Lara.

“Haha, the daughter of that rich industrialist? You said she was quite pretty no?”

I smile at him. Lara is blonde, bright green eyes sparkle above pretty red lips and her accent is tender and reminds me of home. Lara is also Italian.

“Che, and the other?”

Soraya, the “other one” Bernnie is talking about is not Italian. She is from Entrerios, a province north of Buenos Aires. I tell him I did not see the other one.

“Pity, stunning girl she is”

I wait until he has finished his pizza and then we get up and walk outside. We push and dodge and finally make it to the entrance of our building. I take a deep breath and step out of the burning heat and in to the cooler shadows of the marble lobby

Prison 1

The heavy metal door slams shut with a click. I stand there, hesitant, not really believing this is it. I keep thinking that somehow the door will open once again and they will let me out, that they will tell me it has all been a cruel joke and that I can leave. I stand there, immobile, in front of the metal door, for a full twenty minutes before I finally accept the fact that it won’t open any time soon.
I look around my cell, which up to now I have not really taken in. It is a concrete box, slightly over four by six, empty apart from two benches, a toilet and a sink. A small grated window, high above on the furthest wall, lets a little stale light in. I realize that the two benches are actually beds, choose one and lie down. I stare at the grey ceiling and force myself not to think about anything for a while.
I wonder whether the other bed will be left empty or whether I will be force to share the narrow confines of this cell with another unlucky soul.
I get up and walk around the cell. I pace to and through, following the course walls around and around, feeling ever more anxious and frustrated. I think of the lonely panther I used to watch in the zoo in villa Borghese, and wonder whether I too will develop that haunted feeling in my eyes, that nostalgic gait which seemed to overflow with repressed sorrow and desperation.
I lie down once again on my hard bench and, staring at the crumbling ceiling, begin to think.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Crimson room

By the way on this blog (http://coffeestoned.com/) I found a very amusing game where you have to get out of a red room using clues. It is driving me crazy seeing as I cant get out. If anyone wants to try …. Crimson room

Two books

I have been reading quite a bit recently and, in particular, read two very pleasant books recently.

The first on is by Baricco, a rather famous Italian contempory writer author of Oceano Mare and Seta amongst others. I cant actually remember what the book is called (hehe) buut it is his most recent one. The story is about a child called Ultimo (the last one) who grows up with the passion for car racing and is similar to Bariccos earlier works as it is simply writen yet quite deep and emational. It contains some very nice lines.

The second book is called "City of K Trilogy" and was written by a Hungarian called Agoto Kristoff. It is the story of a pair of twins somewhere in eastern europe which, during the war, go and live with their grandmother in the countryside. Full of twists and surprises this bok is definately worth reading

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Nothing much to say

Today I read an article which stated that when they wake up, humans experience a state similar to that felt when drunk. Their brains work much more slowly and important decisions should not be taken. This state should last between 15 and 30 minutes. I obviously was not included in the study or else they would have noticed this state of torpor lasts until just before eight o’clock in the evening by which time it is replaced by a state of traditional drunkenness!

On other matters, my horoscopes (metal monkey and Scorpio) both seem to imply that I will be getting laid either tonight or Friday night. Haven’t found out which stunning girl will have the pleasure but will be sure to let you know.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Calle Florida

Mil caras que aparecen y desaparecen. Mil ojos, profundos o vacíos. Mil miradas llenas de odio, de amor, de indiferencia. Mil pies con dedos largos y finos, mil pies gordos y sucios. Mil bocas rojas que besan, que sonríen, que gritan. Mil manos tiernas que acarician, que golpean, que fuman sus cigarrillos. Mil pechos, grandes y pequeños, llenos y cayentes. Mil olores, mil idiomas, mil miedos, mil esperanzas.

Mil personas que cruzan sus vidas con la mía por un instante. Mil historias que nunca voy a conocer. Mil caras que nunca voy a extrañar, mil ojos en los cual no me voy a perder, mil labios que nunca me van a besar, mil dedos que no se van a perder acariciando mi piel. Mil amigos que nunca voy a conocer.

Mil caminos que se cruzan por un instante y ya se van.

Quick departures

The day I left for Italy was quite a funny day. At the time I didn’t know yet I was going to leave and was trying to cope with a blinding hangover. After a day at the office I got home and all I wanted was to go to sleep. However a friend called who wanted to go out for dinner so I accepted to meet her at my house at ten. I showered, shaved and was ready at ten to ten. Seeing as I had a bit of time I decided to check at what time my flight, two days later, would leave.
I take out the ticket and suddenly realize that the plane leaves the same day at 11:30. I look at my watch and panic. I manage to grab my passport and ticket, put on a coat, run downstairs and jump in to a taxi. What follows seems a scene out of that film "taxi" in which I tell the driver that if he can get me to the airport in time I will give him a huge tip. I get to the airport and for the first time in my life thank the gods that my flight is delayed.
Fourteen hours later I get to Rome with no money, no cell phone, no telephone numbers and no one there to pick me up. I manage to beg a couple of euros off my fellow passengers and start calling around. Obviously no one is home and I cant get in touch with anyone. After a couple of hours I manage to get home, ring on the doorbell, and I am greeted by my whole family, luggage in hand ready to leave for the countryside. Half an hour later and I would have been forced to sleep in the street!

Monday, January 09, 2006

I am back

I am back. Spent two weeks in Rome for xmas and new year. Got back with a cold and a fever (bloody awful flight!! 14 hours of torture) to a sweltering 30 degree heat. I feel as though I was in hell. Anyway, happy 2006!