The road and the snow

Publish date 27-04-2023

by Fabrizio Floris

Carlo's story between love and freedom







It's snowing, it's very cold, but he says he's fine that "the weather isn't so harsh after all". His name is Carlo and to cover himself he has a sleeping bag and a plastic sheet. He doesn't want to move from the garden, he is terrified of going to places where he is recorded, because the enemies would come and get him immediately: "I must be a ghost, I can get away quickly" and the cold is less terrifying, less scary, than his nightmares. Many of us offered him some alternative that in our eyes seemed to be better than spending the winter on a bench, because we see the body, not the mind of the person.

If I tell him about someone's problems or my personal difficulties, he is immediately responsive, interested and caring. If instead we speak of him, for example of looking for accommodation for the winter, he is elusive: «it depends if here (the enemies, those who control me) let me stay, if they leave me alone», then he specifies «I can't go nowhere because those who prepared my destruction are jumping on me. From the way he talks it's as if there's someone who wants him to stay there, if he does something more they hurt him.

His freedom is intertwined with my pain of seeing him, of leaving him there in the cold and frost. He is lucid, assertive, firmly convinced of his choice of him and as it was once said «no one can be free in your place», you cannot determine the freedom of another.

It is the problem of the relationship between love and freedom: help has the person's freedom as its limit, help has a border beyond which the person does not allow you to enter. But if a person risks his life, can his freedom be respected? And then how much awareness is there? How much freedom is there in this freedom? I think a parent faced with a child's suicide attempt doesn't stop and say this is your freedom that I respect, but you fight because his whole life is intertwined with his child's life. The relationship between love and freedom cannot be an aseptic respect, but must precisely be a struggle.

Carlo says he knows the power that nails him to that bench and there is no possibility, there is no remission, there is no hope. He knows that the mind is stronger than the body and as long as the body is there, it is, it is there and finds no shelter. It is necessary to intertwine our lives, our destiny with the lives of the people we want to help not only as individuals, but as organizations, as institutions, to fight until dawn.

Fabrizio Floris

NP Febbraio 2023

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