Do you want to be a part of the most beautiful race in the world, slamming the door in the face of the reaper when he comes knocking, which will be ever so often? I'm a race car driver and happen to be a woman. My team is the most militant, ball-breaking, aggressive and passionate group. This venture is danger guaranteed and we are the underdogs. A mental, physical, mechanical race against the break-down and the Mille Miglia is the toughest of them all. 1000 miles. 20.000 corners. One car and two minds against a male collective that says "you can't, you mustn't, you won't". That is its challenge. The Healey Silverstone is a minor miracle of mechanics and design and my car for this race. It's the most sublime piece of machinery you will ever sit your ass in despite its few creature comforts. I know it, I breathe it, let me tell you there is nothing you can do better in this car than race the Mille Miglia. This race was made for me and I for it but I need you. There is a particular section between Rome and Bologna, where the road twists and turns endlessly through the hill, climbing up and over the passes along the way. I need you to negotiate this path. Wanna navigate yourself into immortality? ~ Kalahari
A bare thigh or a thumb in the air can only lead to certain despair when you take a chance on beauty so fair that she must be too good to be true. A look of innocence required no effort on her part, so when it became a necessity, she thought nothing of it. A stunning beauty, gifted by her pagan Gods with the visual charm of a young Cardinale. A cunning vixen, learning early that her impish charms could bring her any number of rewards. With Cicciolina, you'll never get what you see. In fact, it was festering and putrid, beneath the stunning veil of youth. Even before she was aware of her need to control men, she had a skill for cutting her eyes a certain way that would render any man senseless. She used that skill many times, and it fueled the darkest parts of her being. She found the complete mesmerized looks on their faces both disgusting and empowering. Her mind drifts, strolling through the path of potential suitors that could come calling. Her bewitching resplendence a consummate host, delivering wanderers, wonderers, travelers, and poets. Serving them to her in a bountiful buffet, feeding her ever-increasing hunger for all of the life's vigor. The dust on the road kicked up just enough to cause her to squint back into reality. Surely someone would come along soon. ~ Francesca
Be ever mindful, dear Sir, that not all pretty faces have pretty intentions and not all lone travelers are lonesome. She was in the process of straightening her sundress and trying to appear not to notice him when she caught his attention and his foot found the brake. The car skidded on the gravel for a few feet before coming to an abrupt stop almost kissing her dress. She bit her full lip to resist the urge to grin, cut her obsidian eyes and lowered her delicate chin. The introductions were short as she was so exhausted and overcome from these hours on the road, helpless and stunned. He rose valiantly to the call of shining knight, scooping her up into his chariot to her carnal delight. Little did he know, this clueless stranger, that nothing going through his mind was a mystery to her. She knew what he was thinking, she knew that he was like all the others. A bee drawn to her nectar, not keen enough to realize that the more beautiful the flower, the sharper the thorn. She took great care to assure that her hem rode up just enough to keep him distracted, to shake him a bit, for his nervous chatter was quite revealing. He was not a knight after all, that much she knew. He would prove his worth eventually, his true colors would show and she would be free to take control. He never saw the glint of the blade, as the stars blinked as to not witness and her dagger set him straight. ~ Francesca
Did it start at the groundwork or did a chip from the upper ledge surrender to the force of nature? These veins along the wall are more than a distraction; they're a map that I study between slow drags and hazy dreams. A map to hell or blueprints to a maze with no escape. I watch him there watching me, but I can't find the strength to run, my soul fully exposed. Not that he minds, all he sees are these legs that fit perfectly around his hips, the woman with words that rest easy on his lips. Let him stalk as I fight the battle inside, he won't step in unless I lose my way. In that case, it might be too late. Wait, I need a light. Now, back to this journey through my unraveling mind. Where am I exactly? This could be a secluded back street alley, where I'm able to rest my feet and reflect on the girl I used to be. Exploring the world with youth filled vigor, loving freely each thing that made my body tingle, my heart quiver. Or a streetwalker's lover's lane, where I stop for a cigarette and weariness dissolves my refrain. That's where my thoughts settle as my limbs grow cold. I wear this crucifix around my neck, I know my voyeur is a few steps back, yet I feel unprotected, alone. I know better than to let my weakness show. I'll plan to think about this later - but for now one more smoke. ~ Francesca
In the first light of dawn, in the coastline's haze, leaning from the steep slope without fear of wind or vertigo, an invisible landscape conditions the visible one. "There is the blueprint," they say. The city outside there has a name, yet we do not know if it will remain outside or whether its whole story will be contained within the blueprint's inky blackness. If you want to know how much darkness there is around you, you must sharpen your eyes and peering at the faint lights in the far distance. The city displays one face to the traveler arriving overland and a different one to him who arrives by sea. With cities, it is as if with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Thus, the first secret spot that draws you outside is a stump and a board bench on a high terrace overlooking the sea and the bay. With a never-ending view and a detached, stunted tree for shelter, like a bird's wing to stick your head under, you are hidden. No one knows where you are. Your mother is calling but you are not answering.
Youth is one of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has the divine right of sovereignty. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, you will fade with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. For there is such a little time that your youth will last. The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis. Year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty, becomes sluggish. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to.
Do you ever wonder? Do you ever wonder if you're the only person that feels like a co-star in your own life story? I'm not afraid to tell you, I do. And it's not even a drama, far less than a saga. My angst is probably self-induced, like a self-inflicted gunshot wound. I'm a passenger behind the windshield of this borrowed ride. My persona, no more than a glorious piece of machinery that's stealing my spotlight. I can feel the tingle in my fingers and see the white of my knuckles, evidence of my death grip on the wheel. There's an ache in my calf that screams for me to let up, the pedal has nothing more to give. But wait, I see! The passenger surely can't be the driver. I'm in the wrong seat. It's time to kick up my heels and let my paparazzo undress me. I have a heated desire to lay myself bare beneath his microscope. To hit my accelerator and fly like the wind, right up to his shiny lens. Let him tell the story of me. Let him define my strength. What will he do with the glimpse of the woman that is hidden behind the myth? Will his camera breathe life into the ghost of me or will the negatives reveal that I'm as shallow as I seem - nothing more than a silhouette on a screen? ~ Francesca
There are days, nevertheless, when the sun is out and I get off the beaten path. Now and then, I get to thinking about another way of taking pictures, get to wondering if it would make much of a difference. I used to photograph landscapes without any people in them but now I picture people who happen to be in a particular place. The Italian beach with its pulsating life is a very rich, fertile ground for the photographer's 'Peeping Tom' aspect. In the upcoming day's foggy morning light, I had put long strips of film rolls out, arranged in geometric patterns, and abandoned them on the shore - just like bread crumbs for the pigeons downtown. I wanted people to find something nice and intriguing to puzzle over. Then, I went back to see if the things were still there, or if anyone would have noticed. I've set the scenery. I set up the cage. The trawl, a photographer's Trabucco, was out and ready to haul. And I waited. And I observed the groups of people, the lounging grace with which they wore their swimwear like robes, their sense of always being on display; parading and cat-walking the strip's sand. Alas, how thin and how insecure is that little strip of white sand we call human consciousness.