giovedì 10 ottobre 2013
The end of Life.
The excuse of the pc not functioning (which wasn’t really an excuse, ask Aiste for confirmation) hid a deeper discomfort.
The death of Stefano Borgonovo, as well as my last post about my dad, produced an indefinite unease in me, difficult to define, at least for me.
I started thinking about the meaning of «the end of Life».
To tell you the truth, this thought never bothered me. I saw it as the natural conclusion of human existence. That was it.
Even when I saw it up close. Three episodes come to my mind.
It was Ciara’s birthday. Meeting point at Frenk’s of course. Only problem: the restaurant, given the chronic nomadic nature of its owner, had moved to Mottella, near Mantova, and the usual route was temporarily closed.
I went with a friend in my mythical Mazda mx5 convertible, not a good choice for the evening. The Flood was coming down.
I wasn’t hungry, so I only drank. At the time I wasn’t a heavy drinker. Actually I wasn’t a drinker at all (later I met Simone and I made up for it).
Result: completely wasted on an unknown route in front of me.
In a flash of insight I told my friend he had better go back with someone else. Then, total darkness.
The first turn was fatal. I kept going straight, Alonso on the straight patch of Monza racecourse couldn’t have done better.
I ended up in a ditch with concrete borders. On the passenger’s side the top was totalled. If my friend Chicco had been with me, now I’m sure he would be up there.
Me, not even a scratch. I stood in the middle of the road, dripping (in total dark, risking to be run over).
Barbara, my ex girlfriend, by chance passed by. But she took me for a homeless guy and sped on.
Then she regretted it and, feeling kind, came back and brought me back to the restaurant.
I shouldn’t tell you what the good Mauro Cevolo did at that point, because it’s illegal… but if you promise not to tell, I’ll say it. But please keep it for you.
We called the firefighters instead of the police, who would have surely taken my permit. They arrived with a crane, and took the car to the garage to be repaired.
The second time it was on a plane from Miami to St. Thomas, British Virgin Islands. A paradise on Earth.
Too bad that year hurricanes had decided to arrive early.
St. Thomas was under siege by Thelma, a category 4 hurricane.
Judging from the violent movements of the wings of the small plane, I’m sure Louise was also there.
After many useless attempts at landing, the pilot announced that we were going to the near island of St. Croix.
The clapping on the Itavia flights, glorious charter company used by retired italians for their first flight, were nothing compared to the applause we did when the pilot told us the news.
The problem was that the tail of the hurricane was on St. Croix. We ignorant passengers didn’t know, but the crew knew.
I understood the situation seeing the terrified face of the hostess, or I’d better say flight attendant, otherwise Sata chews me out.
She was sitting near me, towards the end of the plane, on the aisle, and I’m sure we said the same prayer, in the minutes that separated us, among shocks and air pockets, from Mother Earth.
Caracas was the theater of the last and most violent episode.
I was on my way to a long vacation, 35 days to spend in the pristine islands of Los Roques, then in Colombia, in the capital Bogotà and in Cartagena de las Indias, and finally in Cuzco, Peru, to visit the great Machu Picchu, main destination of my trip.
I had always felt attracted to it, like a magical and spiritual place. Much more than Vatican, Mecca or Taj Mahal.
I landed in la Maiquetia, Caracas airport, in totally anonymous clothes (T shirt and olive slacks), I took a cab, black and absolutely official and I gave him the address of the hotel, in the city center.
During the drive I got worried by the endless "ranchos", even scarier than the Brazilian favelas...
Two of the five million inhabitants live here. Surviving on subtefuge, expedients and crime.
But my hotel is in the center, after all. The driver is talking on the phone, but I don’t listen to what he says and I don’t worry.
Upon arrival I get out of the cab and, as I’m about to enter the hotel, I hear a hoarse voice behind me. I turn around and I find myself face to face with a skinny but muscled boy, what in Rome would be called «er secco».
Before I can utter a word he points a huge gun to my face. No need to ask him what he wants, after all.
The driver, maybe his accomplice or maybe not, is petrified, like me. I decide on the spot to do what he says, because I see he’s got a partner on a motorbike nearby.
I tell myself that I can’t die two days, just two days after Cannavaro, CANNAVARO raised to the sky the World Cup.
The boy takes off my cheap watch, but also my bag with EVERYTHING in it. Everything.
Computer, cell phone, agenda where were written all the cell phone numbers, electronic agenda, money, luckily just half of it, the other half was in the pocket of the big suitcase, wallet with credit cards, driving licence and everything else that I could need during the trip.
Then the boy gest behind me, and it’s true: you see your life in fast-forward when behind your back stands an armed guy who doesn’t care if you live or die.
I believe in fate. I always have. It wasn’t my time, that’s all. I leave religious and esoteric theories to someone else.
I was lucky because at the airport, after the custom control, I had put the passport and a credit card in the big side pocket of my pants. I could then continue my trip, although with some forced changes. (I still have to see Machu Picchu. I’ll go there when I’m healed).
I’ve been joking on the most serious side of our life.
I’ve always liked to do it, to mix serious and playful stuff.
I’d also like you to stop calling it death and starting to use a synonym with a sweeter sound: end of Life.
If I’m unlucky I still have three to five years to live.
That’s a lot, if compared to the life expectancy of a terminally ill cancer patient.
You see how lucky I am? Would you like to know in advance how much you still have to live?
I can’t stand to think about the worst. I strongly believe in science, not in miracles. Recently a friend, the owner of a bar in a city on a lagoon, that I won’t mention for privacy reasons, told me of an article about a 37-year-old Italian man healed from the «bitch» after a visit to Medjugorje. You might find me blasphemous, but I only envy him his age.
For my part, I strongly believe in stem cells, because of my personal experience that, as I promised to Laura, I’ll tell you in my next blog (for me, as well as for the gentleman you married, a promise is sacred).
And here I stop, hoping I haven’t offended anyone. If I did, please excuse me. These are my thoughts, my way of reasoning and of living.
This is me, Marco Sguaitzer, suffering from S.L.A. since 5 years ago, but, to paraphrase Simple Minds, "alive and kicking".