This morning, I went to do my usual errands and, as every self-respecting Italian woman, I couldn’t start the day without my daily coffee of the morning.
I had to buy a little candle in a teeny-tiny shop, the entrance of which is situated under the emergency stairs of a huge crumbling building. In the original project, it should have been a Mall with a lot of shops and every kind of entertaining, included a multiplex. But, someday, this great vision ended.
One by one, the shops closed, except for the last four commercial activities; but I don’t know how much time they’ve left! In that place, the only thing you can breathe is emptyness and dust.
At least, the shop that sells my favorite candles is still there!
So, I arrived and parked my car in one of the billion free places I could choose. There were only a bunch of cars, all covered by the morning frost. I got off my car and I thought that the sight was desolating, as usual.
There, the twin concrete building rise up to the cold blue of the morning sky, surrounding a lake of pitch black asphalt; the rusted iron skeletons come out from from the unfinished structure like the remains of mangled corpses.
I was standin up in the middle of them.
The faded writings on the worn walls were the only witnesses of a human presence, now disappeared.
It’s always sad to see such a decadence!
Anyway, the only positive side in all this is the fast-food Cafè, with its warm and welcoming atmosphere. It’s built on the furthest border of that concrete monster, so it can be defined a little oasis of quietness in a desert of nothingness.
I ordered my Espresso and I enjoyed every drop of it. Slowly. As a ritual.
When I went out the Cafè, half an hour later, I was going back to my car and the parking was still almost empty. I was playing with the keychain when I heard a strange noise coming from far behind it; it was the creaking sound of scrap metal and worn gears. A little red car was approaching and it was so tiny that it seemed to barely contain the driver.
The more it approached, the more vividly I saw it. The blackest eyes I’ve ever seen, intense and fixed on me. My heart started beating so fast.
I saw the long grey hair and the unkempt beard.
“I know that man… but I can’t remember…” I was saying to myself.
He looked at me with a grin, then he drove away from the desert parking. With his red car.
Have you ever noticed how red color fades before the others if exposed to the rays of the sun?
Suddenly, I understood.
That man incredibly reminded me of someone…
by Alice Colombo
photo: web image