Tag Archives: visiting hours

summer city walk

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I need to go out.

first I decide to go looking for her. she can heal me. the map I traced over and over inside my body takes me straight to where she lives. I’m wearing a white t shirt and dark sunglasses. I want to listen to different music. I walk all the way till here as if this was my last summer, my last possibility to find her. I ended up in a part of the city I didn’t know. well kept buildings, no litter, no ugly scribbles on the walls. asian cleaning ladies coming down the shiny marbled stairs of the entrances. I get to my destination, number 10. it’s a liberty style white building freshly renewed with huge shiny windows. it’s nice. I look for her name on the inter phone but there’s only numbers. I pick one randomly and ring. an old woman answers. I need to deliver a letter, I say, can you let me in? no reply. I wait. I hear a window closing and look up. I realize nobody’s going to let me in. I stay out there, stupid, daydreaming of her, inside, laying in her bed with pink velvet pillows, smoking a cigarette after another, with her headphones always on. her big dark shades to protect her from the light, long black hairs spread all around her. I wish there was a part of me that could talk to her telepathically. ask her to let me in. I wonder for a while, fantasizing about our magical long-waited encounter, then…

I leave.

the sun won’t give me a break. my back’s all sweaty and stuck to my t-shirt. I look for a place with air-conditioning but it’s all unappealing fancy restaurants with the waiters outside inviting you in, ‘would you like an aperitif?’ the muscles pumping out of their tight shirts, their stylish haircuts soaked in gel.

I keep walking.

the urban landscape changes. the more I walk the more it deteriorates around me, until I get where the prison is. I used to come here when I was a kid to visit my father. nothing has changed. a fortress  of cement with a big orange stripe that goes through its high damp walls as to clamp them tight. a rusty metal door. writings like ‘free our companions’ or ‘alexis we didn’t forget you’ don’t make it any less desolate. the last surrogate of hope and rebellion. it’s as if the whole prison just landed here, implanted its roots in the ground cracking the pavement. no past, no future..so unavoidable. so present. I walk away, turn back, and now I can see the tiny secured windows of the cells facing the big courtyard inside. I think I can spot somebody in there. some form of life or what’s left of a life slowly moving inside.  no need to rush, no need to pretend. every day is exactly the same. do they ever wonder what happens outside? can they see me standing out here? did my father ever came back here once he was out? but why would he? it’s easier to escape from the pain.

I walk away.

at this point I’m melting.  the city is suddenly so different and so real in such an unexpected way. everything I see, every person, every car, every traffic light…around each corner, life blossoms in all its rawness, as I sweat my bleeding memories out.

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