Fidelity I don’t know a thing about my father. I know about my mum, though. She was a German shepherd. From her I inherited my physical strength and in all modesty, some courage as well.
I can’t speak. At most I’ll bark, and only if strictly necessary. However, I’m no fool and I clearly understand certain things. For example, I understand that my owner is very proud of my shiny coat and he always shows it off to his friends as if it were his (the coat). Actually, he has very few hairs, he’s a sickly kind and gets ill quite often - but he does have a strong name: Aiace. They’ve named me Fufi. Imagine, the son of a German shepherd with a name like Fufi… never mind, let’s skip it…
My owner expects great loyalty from me.
We’re not expected to swear an oath of loyalty as the police would, becauseloyalty is in our blood, it comes naturally to us, although at times, it has its limits.
My owner and his wife (who, unlike my owner, is quite tough) went to the sea for a holiday, last month. Lucky them! But at this time, lord knows why, they decided to rid themselves of me: they chained me to a tree and left a note which stated: "Take care of this dog. His name is Fufi." They left me there, out in the open, and went on their way. By evening, an old man came by and said, "Poor beast!" and he untied me.
At first, I was rather hesitant, but then I understood that this old man was, in fact, a good person. He took me home and fed me a bowl of noodles and beans. Noodles and beans usually disgust me, but I was terribly hungry and found them delicious.
I’ve been living with the old man for thirty days. From time to time, I think of my previous owner. Yesterday, I could smell him at the market.
For heaven’s sake! Fidelity is a real chore for us! I really fought the instinct of following his track. "What do I do?" I wondered. I felt very uncertain. I was so torn, I felt a sort of nausea, but in the end, wisdom prevailed and I remained with the old man.
The Mistake The mistake happened, ok? said Joe the Americano – and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll disappear for a while. I suggest you skip town, ok? To another country or even another continent. Ok? But, in his entire life, Carmelo had never been afraid of anything and, in fact, he expected them to come. He could imagine the scene. They would come: l’Avvocaticchio, Giacomone e Mezzarecchia.
"Don Ciccio wants to talk to you," they’d say.
They’d make him get into Avvocaticchio’s Mercedes. They’d drive to the river and there, among the reeds, they’d shoot him in the temple. They’d have him hog-tied and then they’d stuff a dead Goldfinch into his mouth.
Or else, they’d have him hog-tied, stuff a dead Goldfinch into his mouth and they’d shoot him in the temple.
The priest, he was a mild, shy man. On the other hand, Tilde, his sister, was entrepreneurial and had strong managerial capabilities. In fact, since she’d taken the reins of the business, the profits had tripled and the company would be entering the New Market of the Stock Exchange within the year.
One day, she asked her brother what her destiny would be upon her death.
The priest said, "Forget about heaven. Maybe, after having performed some good deeds, you might lessen your stay in purgatory."
So Tilde decided to gather her employees.
After a brief introduction, she immediately came to the point: "I want – she said – you to do an hour’s work without pay. Only an hour per week. These tax-free earnings will be distributed among the city’s needy families.
Walter has dated all my friends. I skipped my turn because he said I was garbage. "Garbage", that’s exactly what he said. It wasn’t nice of him. What can you do?
But it’s not true that I’m garbage, because I have more than just a few sources telling me that I’m pretty, prudent, and I also can be witty (at times). An optimist, after all.
The sources? That’s easy: first of all, aunt Adelaide, then Orsola, our housemaid, which is a bit lame, but extremely intelligent; and then Professor Petrella (4th floor, stair B). He’s from the South, but is very clean. We once met on the staircase and he asked me if I would be so kind to touch him. I was in a hurry, since I had a piano lesson. "About how long will it take, more or less?"
"More or less ten minutes."
"All right, then."
In the end, Professor Petrella said that I was obviously a beginner, but he said I had a classy touch. And, in all honesty, that was a nice thing to hear, because class is class!
Elisa was rich, very rich and perhaps, beautiful. Yes, she was still beautiful. She liked to lie in the sun, nude, reading a good book and smoking a Davidoff by the sea.
Around one p.m., a mild, soft wind brought rain clouds and it stirred something in her memory.
That same light, the same livid clouds. It was the fragrance of May.
They were playing hide-and-go-seek. Uncle Sergio was always cheerful. He was mum’s brother. Always funny, in spite of the fact that he was hunchbacked.
The rain began to pour. They looked to the hay barn for shelter. There, in the barn, uncle Sergio raped her, just for fun.
Elisa was 11 years old that fragrant May.
Some say the fee ($100), is rather high for someone my age. But, I assure you, that my job is done with conscience. Yesterday, at about six o’clock, a guy came by. I’d never seen him before. A nice man, wearing glasses and a floppy hat. He told me he was a writer and that he was writing a book about hookers. He asked me if, as a favour, I would tell him my story, for the same amount of time and money it would take us to have sex. "Look", I told him, "my story is a long one and it’ll take me at least twice as long as that to tell it all."
He replied, "Try being concise, as I only have $100."
"Ok, I’ll do my best."
"Well, I was born into a wealthy family, but after mum’s death, my father went bankrupt. So, he gathered the family together, (I have two sisters and a brother), and said, "Get yourselves some work - I can no longer support you, I’m sorry." I took a job as an entreneuse in a club and soon became the boss’s mistress. He loved me and beat me and beat me and loved me. A year later, he was diagnosed with cancer of the liver and died. The club shut down and I had to work the streets, which was a tough experience. But, I needed the money because at that time I was living with a student and gave him many lavish gifts. His name was Mimmo. They called him "The Blond". Actually, one day, the Blond decided to marry and wanted nothing more to do with me. So, I decided to work for myself and started this place, which isn’t bad at all, as you can guess. Now, honestly, I can’t complain. I have a very select and exclusive clientele."
As I was speaking, the writer scribbled in his note pad. But, in the end, his expression was one of dissatisfaction. So, as not to disappoint him, I invented an outrageous story. I told him that my shift usually ended at 11 p.m., because at around midnight, a beautiful lady would appear, engulfed in pale blue light – as light and as blue as the sky. She’d wear a crown of small golden stars on her head and she is the mother of Jesus. That is, the Madonna. I told you, I do my job conscientiously.
Good day. I’m replacing the narrating voice, that has been delayed, and I’ll get directly to the point. So, for New Year’s Eve, he bought her a string of oriental pearls and a dress made by a famous designer. She was thrilled and put them on. He asked her to walk up and down the living room as if she were on a catwalk. She did, gracefully. "You’re simply divine!" He said. "Thank you, you’re very dear." She said. Then she asked him to read her something nice. In a deep and warm voice, he read her a short story by Chekhov. They toasted at midnight with some Moet et Chandon, then lit the torches and kissed. "Happy New Year, my love." "Happy New Year, darling."
They went to bed, each to their own bedroom. That first night of the year 2000, they had a wonderful dream: they dreamt about making love. He with Rituccia, the housemaid – she with Lucariello, the butcher’s son.
Now, I must say that the narrating voice that I’m replacing was a bit confused, as it didn’t remember if the dreams went precisely that way. "Maybe," he said, "he dreamt of making love to Lucariello, the boy, and she to Rituccia, the housemaid". In any case, it was a good dream nonetheless.
We’ve had a new teacher for ten days. The new teacher speaks a hotchpotch
dialect, because she comes from a city in
On the other hand, Michele, my schoolmate, thinks that the new teacher is too skinny and he prefers the teacher we had before. The previous teacher was fat and yelled a lot. When she got angry with one of us, her face became very red and she’d yell, "Now you’ve really pissed me off!" But Michele prefers the teacher we had before, because when she sat down, she always kept her legs wide open and we could even see her underwear.
A bad case of conjunctivitis! That’s what prevented him from attending the opening.
They would have invited him to the speakers’ table, with the medal in plain view on his jacket.
He would have said: "Please don’t make me speak – I’m afraid I’ll become emotional."
"Well, my friend, as you wish. What matters is that you’re with us tonight."
The exhibition on the Resistance was
displayed in one of the
One- hundred-twenty pictures. The usual themes. He found Marta’s portrait. A painting by Andrea Sparaco. A good piece of work.
Marta taught him to dance the tango, to
read Gramsci and to make love. Together they fought against the Germans on the
He wiped a tear from his cheek.
"Bloody conjunctivitis" he said.
"You have an air of someone much too self-confident and that discourages the clients." Said Roberto.
"Fuck off" Said Veruscka.
Self-confident? Perhaps. She definitely had
a plan: to be a prostitute for one more year, then she’d open up a restaurant in
Roberto replaced her with another one from the East. A prissy one, who seemed like she was fresh from a monastery.
You never placed third, or let’s say, even second. Never! Always first in everything. Always, every year, at primary school, at high school, always!
You were always the one to win the trophy
in the cross-country race. Hair always perfectly groomed. Elegant clothes,
classic pieces, of course. You have green eyes, smooth skin, not a trace of
cellulite, perky breasts. You speak German and French fluently. Your
He looked at his watch. It was past eleven.
"It will never again be as it was before." He thought.
"I was happy and I didn’t know it."
"You’re a fool!" He said to Gabriella, to hurt her.
She stood next to the already opened door, her right arm hanging slightly, weighed down by her heavy luggage.
She yelled: "I’d rather live on a rock, a poor fool, waiting for the Rex, than live here… in this shit, contemplating…"
Fury lit up her eyes and she looked even more beautiful. With her mouth pasty with saliva and full of bile, she searched for a final word."Contemplating your nothingness…" She said.