I am watching the time label on the screen of my phone, laying down on the white sheet of my bed. The white of the sheets is just the same color of my vest, and it seems like I am submerged in the same big white sea, only my face and the shape of by sun-burnt arms emerging on the top of that. As a galactic prisoner, I am staring at the ceiling on which the dark-grey shade of the blinds is projected.
It is hot outside: as every summer night, the dogs are barking and this feeling of suffocating always sticks on you since the moment you wake up.
The world around me is one that I know well: it is the world of my childhood, made of toys and posters on the wall, that now represent my only nightmarish company. I look at them feeling intimidated and at the same time bored, and I realize that tonight I won’t sleep. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the toys, maybe it is this feeling of humid pressure that you cannot escape from.
I am in the attic of my grandmother’s house, my father is laying close to me, on another bed, and on his right there’s my brother, who’s probably been asleep for three or four hours already. Everything is so familiar that I can predict the passage of time by its exterior and secret signs. In such a dimension it seems like time is not passing at all, and to understand the contrary you need to know the right signs to look at: the shade of the blinds slowly moving, in the long run, until they have covered a complete circumnavigation of the ceiling; the noise of the water drops falling in the close bathroom, the sudden passage of a car that is roaring down in the street.
Time is out of joint, once told Hamlet in his famous tragedy, and now I can really understand the meaning of those words: I am living in the past here. The room seems a living relic of an age that has disappeared many years ago. On the shelves in front of me there are the Pink Floyd vinyls that my father used to wake up when he was in school times. The pictures of my father when he was a college student, and his exams’ results. An old surf board on the wall, close to a basket full of shells and a writ on it: “Gallipoli – summer 1987-“. And in the midst of this fascinating and intangible world of memory, here I lay, as a ghost made of white sheets and fears.
I can hear that melody passing through my ears, getting into my veins, pushing me to stand on my own feet and walk towards the door of the terrace.
It seems to be working with me as well, the same song that could raise my father and make him ready for the day. I pass through the unconscious body of my father and my brother, and get closer to the exit.
And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be
It is a complex operation to open that window, but finally here I am outside. The fresh air of my night hits my face with violence and for some second I feel like I want to go back to bad. Then I start perceiving the lights. There were so many lights out there, like a million stars that had chosen to come down of the Earth and had found their collocation among the houses of men, on their cars, all around the roads that climb up to the mountains. There is a feeling of electric fermentation laying out there. For a few seconds I have an idea of wideness, not in an horizontal direction, but in a vertical one: it seems that behind every piece of life there is another one, infinitely small, contributing to boost the huge vibration of the system. People is sleeping all around me and nobody understands this movement.
The city is alive in the night. The buildings, the parks, the desolated routes partially illuminated, the garbage bins are breathing now and life is floating all around. I am finally relieved, thinking about all the people like me that cannot sleep in such a hot night and have climbed to their terrace to take some fresh air.
As I am starting to feel tired, now I will probably get back to bed, to get some rest before the city falls asleep and its population wakes up. The first light of the dawn is already emerging out of the top of the mountains out there.