THE END

“You Italians, you’re all the same!” “What do you mean, the same” I protest feebly “I’m different … you see, that woman means nothing to me … I met her here in the hotel … yes, she may be jealous, she may have a crush on me but I have never reciprocated … how can I explain to you?” It’s no use, she begins to run and soon disappears behind some dunes. “Bloody Lucretia!” I swear “you’ll pay clear for this. It may well be your damned mania for playing stupid jokes, your jealousy … but this time you’ve gone too far. Christ, making me lose an assured fuck!” I turn back. Lucretia has disappeared. After her bravado she has thought it wise to get the hell out of it. I rush back to the hotel and look for her. No sign of her anywhere, neither on the beach, in the common room with her friends. Nobody’s seen her, they tell me that while they were away on the boat she dived into the water and swan back to the shore. Curse her, she must have been suspicious of my behavior and followed me. This time I’m going to kill her! I go back into the hotel and ask the desk-clerk if he’s seen her. He says she’s gone up to her room. To save time I don’t take the lift but go up the stairs four at a time. I walk into her room without locking, and find her sitting quite calmly on the bed, busy putting her make-up on. “You daughter of a bitch!” – I shout – “You made me lose that bombshell I’ll kill you!” She runs away and I chase after her. She runs round the table laughing noisily. She jumps on to the bed and gets away off the other side. But I don’t give up. I’m hard on her heels. “You’ve made me lose an assured fuck! But you’ll make up for it the fuck you made me lose, you can give me yourself – you’re even better. She pulls faces at me, which makes me even more angry. I’ll get you… and if you’re not game … I’ll rape you like a brute … you owe me a fuck …” She feints to one side and I end up on the sofa, but I collect myself immediately and resume my pursuit. She leaps nimbly on to the bed, but that’s where she makes her mistake. With a dive worthy of Tarzan I “tackle” one of her feet. She tries to wriggle free and tries to gain leverage by grabbing on to the feet, of the wardrobe, but I don’t lose my hold. Gradually I climb up her as if I were sca1ing a rock: legs, bottom, back, head. We struggle entwined on the bed rolling over a number of times. I squeeze her neck as though I wanted to strangle her, and she pulls my hair. She laughs enjoying it all. Gradually our holds … are transformed into caresses. I kiss her first on the neck, then on the chin, I feel for her lips and we melt together in an endless kiss. “See, I’m better than your Swede!” She says catching her breath. “Daughter of a bitch! Now I understand why you caused all that trouble …” “Yes, I wanted you. I wanted you for me alone, because I like you so much, and I couldn’t bear the thought of you going to bed with that cow!” I smile. A blaze of desire sweeps over me. I kiss her over and over again and feel her hot body come passionately closer to mine. Little by little I undress her… —————————————————————————————– The protagonist, in the piece which is missing, falls hopelessly in love with Lucretia, but after much hesitation, returns to his village, hoping to forget her. He cannot do this, and after a deep crisis decides to live his “husband profession” and choose the path of love once more. CHAPTER VII I’m a sucker, I’ve always said I’m a sucker! But what am I saying? I’m mad. They should tie me down, gag me, prevent me from going through with this madness! But here nobody makes a move. They cast their empty indifferent glances on me without breathing a word, without even noticing me. I put my case up on the rock, sit down, pull my handkerchief out and dry my tears. Am I crying? Yes I’m crying; I’m giving up my job my life, paradise. Does it seem so little to you? I hear the doors slamming, the whistle of the stationmaster, gradually the train moves away … I’m off, I’m going up there, to that gray foggy city in the North. Yes, I’m going back to be among the mere mortals, to struggle, to suffer… I wipe away another tear; I’m nervous, I can’t sit still, I get up and go to 1ook out the window. The roofing over the almost desert platforms passes slowly by, waves, some kisses fly from the lips of a girl towards an unknown receiver then … the ever more rapid passing to …. the city. Enormous buildings with countless square eyes, closed as though veiled by heavy sleep; the dark deserted streets with cars queuing along the footpaths, the squares dimly lit, by the feeble street-lamps. Every so often some sign of life is visible in the immense sleeping anthill: some dog rummaging through the rubbish, a light lit behind the curtains of some window or an occasional passerby fleeing from the night. The train is going along half-way up the hill in the livid light of the day which is beginning to dawn. I am seeing Monterupoli for the last time. Farewell little village where I dreamed a peaceful life, farewell houses, gardens, streets so full of life and people all day long. Farewell nice folk of Monterupoli, cheerful people, maybe full of faults but with such human warmth. Farewell wife, or rather farewell old dears, yes – old dears, wife and motherin-law, because I never made a net distinction between the two. When you find the note I left for you in the sitting room, who knows is you’ll understand? Maybe not – locked in your provincial bigot mentality you’ll never understand my revolutionary choice. Yes, because mine was a revolutionary choice. “What was he short of?” You’ll say. And indeed, what was I short of? I had everything: well-being, peace … a trouble free life. I am a sucker. What can I do about it? I’m a sucker. Some folk are born intelligent, some stupid; some are born with an obsession; for women or for butterflies … I was born a sucker. “You’re looking for life” – I tell myself – “you’re looking for struggle, for excitement. You’ll realize what hell life is!” One last look: there you are, Monterupoli, roosting placidly on the top of that hill, with your red-tiled houses your old white-washed wails, your narrow streets twisted like an entangled net, your squares, bars and the Medieval castle between the church and the clay ravines… Farewell, we may never see each other again. I have fine memories of you. Here after all I have lived the most tranquil and most beautiful years of my life. It’s cold. I return to my compartment and sit down. I can’t help thinking about my choice. Who made me make it? Nobody. It’s the doing of the irrational component of the human brain. And of that emotional part of ourselves which we still haven’t managed to explain or understand. Why do we make war? Peace is so wonderful! Why does racism exist, and injustice, hunger and exploitation? We can cite a thousand reasons, tinge it with completely different ideologies, trace the whole thing back to the most obvious and elementary of causes, but maybe the explanation lies in that little touch of madness which is in us all. What is it that drives the hardened smoker to smoke? Nothing, and yet he knows it does him harm; should he happen to suffer from bronchitis he risks putting an end to all his troubles, yet he goes regardless of every warning. And I’m just the same, I’m addicted, addicted to life, to fight. I can’t live without suffering, struggling. I lead a peaceful life, unperturbed, without anxieties, and what do I do? I throw it all away because I have to get back into the thick of the fray …. I’m the personification of one of the greatest absurdities on this earth. Of all the many millions of ants that surround me I am one of the few who have understood the meaning of life, of happiness, and what do I do? I waste this discovery of mine, I throw it to the wind with the same lack of awareness as a child who throws down an abyss a diamond whose value he does not know. You’re dreaming of struggles, of the routine of life” – I tell myself – “You’re letting yourself be blinded by the illusions of love, letting yourself be conquered by your dreams, enchanted by two lips smelling of roses but … “Don’t say that”- replies another voice inside me – “You’re heading towards love, happiness … a paradise strewn with flowers … to her, Lucretia, don’t you think?” “Yes, yes, Lucretia, love … you’ll find out. How long can this latest honeymoon last? A year or two, maybe three … and then you’ll be back to square one, struggling with your salary which is never enough the brats, the worries, the anxieties of life … you’ll have to work your guts out, run back and forth … How strange, and yet the idea doesn’t terrify me! Is it possible that I have reached this point? “Maybe you were painting things too black. Having a family doesn’t mean filling your house full of little heads. One or two kids are enough. Working doesn’t necessarily mean slogging away like a mule. You can easily find a job you like which leaves you lots of free time. And the problems, the worries? Maybe one or two are not a bad thing … they break up the monotony life. “What are you saying! Do you have some doubts too? You’re falling into a trap! You’ve been snared once again. And you just wait and see – with all this feminism that’s about today you’ll have to do the dishes too, and the washing … Yes, it’ll be hard, I admit it … but Lucretia’s huge eyes stand out more than the light at break of day. They stare at me lovingly, and her fair face seeks protection on my chest. Her small delicate hands caress me with infinite love, and I feel her hot breath on my neck … Who knows how much she’ll have cried! How happy she’ll be to see me … how tightly she’ll hold me in her adorable arms. I wish that time and space would vanish and that she was here with me now, beside me … I wish I could cover her face with innumerable tiny kisses all round her chin … Yes, it’s love! That is why life will never finish on this fucking planet!

TRATTO DAL LIBRO – FROM THE BOOK PROFESSION Husband in english…