Publish date 29-05-2022

by Marco Grosseti

Luca walks on a precariously balanced thread, moves slowly, very slowly and could fall into the void at every step, but no one knows. He treads on streets, bridges, sidewalks, crosses gardens and squares with his hood over his head, takes one step and then another, the ground firm under his feet, the confident bearing and the determined air of someone in a hurry to arrive, knows where; he jumps happily and almost runs, in the throes of uncontrollable anxiety, craving for his little piece of happiness, which he needs like a cube of chocolate at snack time, the pillow on which to rest his head exhausted when night comes .

His path is littered with traps: all it takes is a slight gust of wind, the fortuitous touch of another child who travels in his own orbit and hinders his trajectory, inopportune crossing of footprints, the sudden disappearance of an object or a person who anchors it to his thread and Luca goes down. Another child picks up the same piece of lego abandoned on the floor with which he had planned to play after the red toy car, a child says aloud what he meant, a wrong number appears on the notebook, a minor hindrance forces the teacher to have to respond to the simultaneous request for help from another little friend of hers.
The light goes out and the darkness comes on. There are infinite reasons for this to happen, the expression that deforms and transfigures his face announces the beginning of the end. There are just a few seconds to intervene urgently, remove the pain and with a false distraction work, superimpose something, anything, to the ghosts that begin to reveal themselves in his head, hook it to any other point of the line to be tightened, very strong to keep away the tears, the darkness, the fear, the despair. Or see him fall into the void and watch helplessly as he falls into a world inhabited by monsters.

Luca no longer hears and sees nothing, the verses with which he began to complain for a few minutes like a wounded animal are transformed into an inconsolable cry that rises tear after tear of volume, without being able to notice the children who continue to try to play by his side, the voice that tries to reassure him by telling him that nothing so important has happened and begs him not to feel so bad, not so much, not so strong, not in front of everyone. But how can you say that it is nothing to those who are attacked by ghosts at every step?
Luca has spent years locking himself in his room with his brothers, crouched behind a fence of toys, while on the other side of the house dad was turning to fire. Together with their mother they have suffered every possible form of wickedness, Luca has the same symptoms as a child who has been under the bombs, regardless of everything and everyone, he goes out and walks away without saying anything to anyone, he hides in a corner or inside. a closet, tries to fall asleep and rests his head on the counter, turning his notebook into a pillow, to sink into a sweeter sleep than the nightmares he has with his eyes open.

They say that even before we come into the world, when we are still in our mother's womb, half the size of Cicciobello, we start sucking our thumbs for an intimate need for comfort and pampering, the vital need for to calm down and console ourselves, a natural instinct for reassurance and protection, a reasonable attempt to keep at bay the pain and stress that disturbs our very slow rising before the appearance. We so need to feel good, to go it alone, when we still can't take a step and we are safe inside a belly. Think later.
Luca is playing with his friends and another child running bumps into him by mistake. His face becomes ugly, the memory of that man who became fire fills everything with fear and makes everything disappear. Will he be able to keep it at bay before it all starts to burn? Can we get him out before the dark turns out the light? Each sun has its sunset, each night has its sunrise. Also that of Luca.

Marco Grossetti
NP February 2022

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