Comings and going
When my drama teacher gave to the theater company the homework, at the end of the first lesson, I was puzzled at first, then I felt afflicted until I finally felt ashamed.
One of the exercise we had to do, day by day, consisted in paying attention, during a daily walk, to all those things that usually reach the threshold of the consciousness, due to our habits. This walk had to be long enough to became a spiritual workout.
It was terrible when I realized that my routine included just the flight of stairs which brought me from the office to the coffee machine.
Then I chose to reverse my teacher’s proposal and I made my shame as my anchor. If you think about it, it’s a crazy experiment: the shame is caused by the actions we committee, not by what is imposed by the society. But if I managed to make the shame surprised by the reality, I would find a better exercise of attention and care.
Soon I realized that the only remarkable circumstance during my coming and going on the rubber tire were the encounters with the animal carcasses violently hit by the unaware of our hurry. Encounter, so to speak, because actually they were sighting from a distance from two hundred to one hundred meters, just enough time to get ready for the show. All these encounters left were a flash of guts and blood, with scattered limbs swept to the side of the road.
Day after day, I waited to see a victim of the crazy race. And I always find one: a surprising chain of souls which feed my macabre exercise. Then I thought that, sooner or later, I would be the one to hit an animal, I would have stop the car to the side. However, I kept being a voyeur, waiting for some kind of revelation.
So I hoped that a thrill would take my shame by surprise. I thought how I could save this from happening, overwhelmed by the discharge of frustration of the day, taking notes of everything could happen in the edge. I imagined myself still, to the side of the road, giving at least some minutes of pietas to those pure remains.
But the imagination could never supply the emptiness that was growing around that remains. I hang around like a ghost, I couldn’t touch a thing, I couldn’t solve the mystery that abandoned for good that animal’s eyes. Who know if they had a human friend, somewhere. Maybe someone was looking for them, hoping to hug them again. It better not be like that, I told myself feeling inadequate when I thought about this heartbreaking scene. More the anything, I couldn’t bring my shame up to the end of my soul, I felt it frozen, underground. As time goes by, the experiment seemed lost, aburning and pointless defeat.
The solution of that riddle arrived on a day when I was forced to take the bus, to go to work: on the way back, at a bus stop, my attention was captured by a prostitute who was waiting for the night, sit on the sidewalk. She shows her sex to everyone was looking from a certain distance, like me. And then there was, the thrill. I looked the other way for decency and I sailed the whole horizon of the nightfall, like a meteor.
Finally the shame would have something to tell.