And I see the houses of the human race perched on the edge of the sea, shipwrecked in their false neighborliness. Cold has a thousand ways of moving in the world: on the sea it gallops like a troop of horses, on the countryside it falls like a swarm of locusts, in the cities like a knife-blade it slashes the streets and penetrates the chinks of unheated houses. Many miles away there is a small stairway leading upwards to flats unfolding like a book; each single life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable. Each of us is the object of the other’s reading, one reads in the other the unwritten story. Separating the individual human chapters, rain gutters scar over the house’s facade by leading off, like veins, the myriads of the tears not cried. There is no child in a window who laughs seeing a dog that has jumped on a shed to bite into a piece of polenta dropped by a stonemason who has shouted from the top of the scaffolding. No lighted ground-floor windows, each with a woman combing her hair. But at night, putting your ear to the ground, you can sometimes hear a door slam. The place is deserted - the cemetery is the home of those who are not here; come in! And thus, when some people happen to find themselves together, meetings, seductions, copulations, orgies are consummated among them without a word exchanged, without a finger touching anything and almost without an eye raised.
You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours; or to the question it asks you, forcing you to answer. Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places. When you’re young, all evolution lies before you, every road is open to you. The dreamed-of city contained him as a young man; he arrives there in his old age. And nothing was left that could remind him of it, even remotely, nothing except perhaps that cold wall of gray stone or other shops which look like them and the colours of the writing on the shop signs. In the square there is the wall where the old men sit and watch the young go by; he is seated in a row with them. Childhood boredom is a special kind of boredom. It is a boredom full of dreams, a sort of projection into another place, into another reality. In adulthood boredom is made of repetition, it is the continuation of something from which we are no longer expecting any surprise. Desires are already memories. Instead of taking one road he had taken the opposite one, and after long wandering he had come to be in the place of those men in that square.
Girls and cars, cars and girls -- no two subjects have had a greater impact on males since the dawn of our species. The lengths at which they’ll go to taste the fruits of both, limitless. Mesmerized by curves, straight lines that flow, right into crevices with depths unknown. To hear her purr, feel the revving deep within; to watch her surge, makes a man want to sin. From birth it's an active pursuit, of any viable prospect that could deliver these two. The call to be in the service of a bright set of eyes and glowing headlights. A smart young chap never misses the opportunity to bask in the glow of feminine light that can only be compared to a spark in the dead of night. To capture the magic found in moments of freedom that come when this coupling reaches its pinnacle. Whenever the two become one it's a case of spontaneous combustion. Observing in awe at the vibrancy on display as car and girl, girl and car, waltz in their own special way. He, forever a slave to immortalizing the irresistible gravity that will be formed when car and girl coalesce. ~ Francesca
Miss American Pie drove her Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry. Eight miles a gallon and driving fast, she landed foul on the grass. No James Dean to borrow her a coat. Moss grows fat on a rolling stone and while we were looking down, the jester stole the thorny crown. Jack is nimble, Jack is quick, Jack Flash sits on a candlestick. No angel born in Hell and fire is the Devil’s only friend, and the three men we admire most, The Father, Son, the Holy Ghost, they caught the last train to the coast. There we are, all in one place. A generation lost in space. No time left to start again, but them good ol’ boys are drinking whiskey and rye, singing ‘Bye-bye, Miss American Pie, this will be the day that we die’.
There was a town where everything was forbidden. Now, since the only thing that wasn’t forbidden was the games of soldiers, the town’s youngsters used to assemble on meadows behind the town and spend the day there playing soldiers. But at home nobody ever taught us how to light a cigarette in a storm of rain, nor how a fire could be made with wet wood – nor that it is best to stick a bayonet in the belly because there it doesn’t get jammed, as it does in the ribs. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony. Forgive me, buddy; how could you be my enemy? Grown-ups are an untrustworthy, treacherous lot, they don’t take their games in the serious wholehearted way children do, and yet they too have their own games, one more serious than the other, one game inside another, so that it’s impossible to discover what the real one is -- and to think that when we grow up we may be as stupid as they are.
The river reflected whatever it chose of sky and bridge and burning tree, and when the boy had oared his boat through the reflections they closed again, completely, as if they had never been. There one might have sat the clock round lost in thought. Thought, to call it by a prouder name than it deserved, had let its line down into the stream. It swayed, minute after minute, hither and thither among the reflections and the weeds, letting the water lift it and sink it until the sudden conglomeration of an idea at the end of one’s line: and then the cautious hauling of it in, and the careful laying of it out. Alas, laid on the grass how small, how insignificant this thought looked; the sort of fish that a good fisherman puts back into the water so that it may grow fatter and be one day worth cooking and eating.
Isidora, the King’s Queen and step daughter, has come down from Olympus to visit us mortals in our invisible cities. That human drift, which is natural simplicity itself, is not for you moderns, you children of reflection. It works only evil in you. As soon as you wish to be divine, you become common. To you nature seems something hostile; you have made devils out of the smiling gods of Greece, and out of me a demon. You can only exorcise and curse me, or slay yourselves in bacchantic madness before my altar. And if ever one of you has had the courage to kiss my red mouth, he makes a barefoot pilgrimage to Rome in penitential robes and expects flowers to grow from his withered staff, while under my feet roses, violets, and myrtles spring up every hour, but their fragrance does not agree with you. Stay among your northern fogs; but let us pagans remain under the debris, beneath the frozen lava – do not disinter us!
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 care about the run in my hose, 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 backstreet 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 this could be a streetwalker's lover's lane, where I stop for a cigarette and weariness dissolves my refrain. What will tomorrow hold? 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
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 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 life is a very rich, fertile ground for the peeping Tom aspect of a photographer’s preparation. In the upcoming day’s foggy morning light I had put long strips of film rolls out, in geometric patterns, and abandoned them on the beach; just like bread 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 net. 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 show; parading and catwalking the strip’s sand. Alas, how thin and insecure is that little beach of white sand we call human consciousness.
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