Stars of dust - chapter two




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My surname has origins from Campania, but my grandparents moved to Rome after the war. Aldo, my father, responsible for human resources at Poste Italiane, had worked in Sardinia, Lombardy, Marche, and during a holiday in London, he met Marina, my mother. She was from San Lazzaro di Savena, in the province of Bologna.

It was the summer of '67. Aldo watched amused the English employees deflowered by the sun at Golden Square, but Marina liked the Rolling Stones, and there was the clash of two asteroids. After the holiday, they remained in contact and continued to spend time with each other; after about a year my father asked her to marry him.

London was far away, but the ghost of old William continued to beat blows: my brother Enrico (so baptized by Marina for Shakespeare's drama) was born in Ancona in 1970 when my father worked in Marche, then the return to Rome. However, the capital's ponentino was swept by pressure from across the Channel. To confirm the supremacy in the choices, as a mark on his flesh, it's clear why Marina, the woman who gave birth to us with pain, called me Riccardo.

Mom graduated in classical and modern letters, didn't spare the passion for English literature even to our cat. Otello, the cat, was the third child.

That summer, as usual, we had to go to San Lazzaro to mother's grandparents, but aunt Sonia, mother's sister, was giving birth and that event catalyzed the interest of the whole family. We opted for a holiday on the Adriatic coast. Before leaving, my parents went to Emilia for a few days, visiting the beloved Aunt Sonia.

My brother and I were left in Rome with our father's grandparents, in the house where Dad grew up, and we slept in his room. They filled us with anecdotes about my father when he was young, and I was surprised to find out he was a child too.

It was the summer of 1980, the end of July, and we were waiting for our parents to leave. One evening our mother called to greet us, reassuring us they would come back the next day to go to sea.

 

It was the last time I heard my mother.

 

An articulated lorry coming from Germany caused an accident on the highway invading the opposite lane. Seven dead including my parents.

I have confused memories of that day. The phone was constantly ringing, there was a procession of people I didn't know, and the next day relatives came. I couldn't lift my head; I had the impression my neck was sunken into the chest causing a strong pressure. It was a physical pain, and for some time I felt a grudge against my parents on account of their abandonment. It seemed to me like a cruel game, an unmotivated joke. You don't do these things to children.


Read chapter three


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© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




© Enrico Mattioli 2018