I can hear you
Do you think it’s not possible? When you wake up, you just wake up. The torpidity goes away, while life is already there. Yes, I know, I started in a confusing way, just give me a minute. At the beginning it was only a rustle. I’ve never heard anything before, I didn’t even know I had a voice inside me, I didn’t even know what a voice was. I think that first came the noise of a lorry. I shivered, it was a sensation I felt a zillion times, but just then I could actually hear. And there wasn’t a reason. Then there was the time of the bell of a bike and then the rest. Suddenly I realised; I was there. Yes I know, for you it’s easy to be there where you are. Not for me. I’d like to tell you my story, if I knew it; where I was born, who brought me here, how many years I’ve been in this world…even though they might discover my age very soon. The moon will go down (if I’d seen it at least once) and the work will be done. A work as many others. You dirty your hands and then you wash them, isn’t that it? Nothing is as simple as that. ‘In my opinion, they are messing it up really badly.’
‘What did you expect?’
‘This is how they do it, you know all this.’
Three voices. In the night. My last three companions came to visit who knows from where. Keep talking, I can hear you.
‘I’ve had enough, we should do something...I’ve got a rope at home.’
‘I say the branch breaks if you hang on it.’
‘C’mon I’m serious, we can tie ourselves on it, we could, I don’t know, make a hunger strike.’
‘Cool! So cool! But if we do so, can we smoke?’
‘Well yes, Pannella always smokes during his hunger strikes’.
‘Do you really believe he doesn’t eat?’
‘Anyway, do you have some?’
‘I finished it’
‘Don’t bullshit me! You are not able to fall asleep if you don’t have one before going to bed’
‘Exactly, that means that tonight I won’t sleep’
It wasn’t the first time things went like this, the man with the nasal voice would convince his friend, they would smoke and then go to bed. No rope would appear and they wouldn’t tie themselves anywhere.
‘But I’m saying it seriously now, it’s not for the tree, but they should tell us when they want to change something’
‘They should tell us, well, ask us – Is that ok for you? and then we say – yes, no, maybe, wait a minute; or at least a survey, that way I’d feel a bit more respected in my principles’
‘But what are you on about? I’m not following anymore’
‘Take this tree, right? It’s ugly, bent and whatever. But you don’t do things in this way, it’s crap. We can’t always go through this way of doing things in a crappy way always decided by the same dickhead.’
Time is something I discovered when I woke up, I have never thought about it before, the only thing I was able to do was grow. Luxuriant. It’s a word that I just learnt. Words are weird, it took me a while to understand them. At the beginning they were just some other noises.
‘Fuck off, you know? I’d rather let them cut my arm off, but my fucking tree stays here’
‘From when is it yours?
‘Not even your sister is yours’
‘Again with my sister? If you want to fuck her you go and tell her, without annoying me. Anyway, the tree is communal, right? So it’s mine, too.’
‘So why don’t you bring it home?’
‘Why don’t you bring this home?’
A bump. Something came on me.
‘Why don’t you chill the fuck out?’
‘C’mon Piero, I really don’t get why you care so much about this tree. They’ve been cutting whatever they like for ages and now you suddenly care about this one?’
‘Just have a toke and chill out’
‘Which toke? The filter? There’s nothing left here’
Piero. Did I already hear that name? He should have passed from down here before.
‘The thing is that you don’t give a shit about anything, this is what pisses me off. How can you spend your fucking life and leave it to pass by like this? Without ever caring about anything? How is it possible to sensitize you?’
‘I care about something’
Some wonky laughs and swearings. Then they all went back home.
And nobody was there until the next morning.
Then other voices.
‘Let’s do it quickly’
‘Don’t worry, I can do my job’
The noise of the chainsaw, a violent bray that seemed to get closer.
Then the ringing of a phone.
‘Hey, did you arrive? Everything alright? Take care and please be careful’
‘C’mon give it to me, I’ll cut it’
‘You’ll make it fall on my head, this tree. My daughter just landed...give me a second. Sorry darling’
‘Oh say hello! Hi Sara, why didn’t you bring him with you?’
Sara. I’ve heard of that name, too.
A couple of days ago.
‘What do you mean you are leaving?’
‘Piero, I told you that…c’mon it’s not like I don’t think about you’
‘But for how long will you be away?’
‘I don’t know’
‘Is it how it ends?’
‘It’s only a goodbye’
‘A long one’
‘C’mon, things are already complicated like this, I’ll be back, I also have to take my braces off…’
‘I’ll come with you this time, I promise’
Other words followed, a leaf fell and I remember the weight of their bodies on my trunk, a momentary abandon, the last concession before freedom. Their last kiss, while the chainsaw started to sink its teeth tearing off the bark and beyond without hesitating.
And just like this, circle after circle, that metallic bray became always further away, always more harmless until it disappeared completely. Until I could not hear anything again, anymore.