The Moment, Forever

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“Per sempre (forever)
solo per sempre (only forever)
cosa sarà mai portarvi dentro solo tutto il tempo (whatever will be bring you inside me just for all the time)
per sempre (forever)
solo per sempre (only forever)
c’è un istante che rimane lì piantato eternamente (there is a Moment that remains eternally there”

Luciano Ligabue


The brain, what a mystery. I wonder what snaps into our skull when we live “in the moment,” when we are so aware and present that everything becomes clear and clean, and that moment – beautiful, horrible, sometimes apparently insignificant, is so intense that it is sticks to gray matter and we can no longer remove it.

Why then just “that moment” and not others? That memory it’s there and re-emerges not only in the pictures, but in the colors, in the emotions we experience, in the smell, in the voice of the people who was with us. I’m not talking about memories of events, but of indelible moments, the ones that are planted there forever without a valid motive. Those 30 seconds of clarity whereby finally YOU KNOW. Like when you do yoga for years and you cannot do the Meditation. You cannot silent your mind, you cannot completely empty yourself, and then one day, it happens. You are there and for 30 seconds you do it, you fell your head lighten, no thought of things to do, or emotions to tame, nothing disturbs you. It’s like you get out of your body: you smile, you know, you are alive.

I wonder with all that I have experienced in my life, why my brain decided to capture these specific memories instead of others. I will only write a few, not in chronological order but in scattered order, as they resurface, powerful and here, now, IN THE MOMENT.

My Dad teaches me how to sign. We are sitting in the living room around the extendable mahogany round table. It’s evening, my mom cooks roasted meat, I still smell it. He tells me with his deep voice:

“You never have to pull the pen off the sheet when you put your signature.”

My dad, with his perfect calligraphy, with his signature tidy, sinuous, that seems printed out. My dad that before signing moves the pen into the air twice, as if he’s an artist with the brush in the hand about to paint his next masterpiece.


My mom and I standing in the kitchen scratch off with a spoon the risotto stuck on the bottom of the pot. We eat it with joy, we laugh:

“Mummy can I have a plate full of sticky risotto from pot’s bottom?”

And here’s comes The Moment, her smile, her answer without speaking, her way to puff  shrugging the shoulders, her sweet caress in my hair.

A small hotel room, white, very white, almost dazzling. It has just stopped raining, from the open window enters the smell of wet asphalt that blends with that of his cigarette. I’m lying on the bed, he is sitting in a chair facing me. We just made love. He has a white towel tied around his waist, his naked and tanned torso highlights his calm breath, his face illuminated by a strange light, the one that is created after a summer thunderstorm, when the sun peaks into the black clouds that finds it hard to leave. He talks to me. I cannot hear a single world. I stare at the smoke and the sun in his eyes. At that Moment I know that I love him. It’s wrong, I know, but everything has become clear now, everything is possible, all is real. I don’t need anything else to love him.

The laboring room. The smell of disinfectant. I just gave the last exhausting push, I’m four-legged and the midwife catches my daughter on the fly. My legs shaking and I don’t know if I can turn around by myself, I need help. I want to sit down. Now her warm body is leaning against my breasts. She opens her eyes, that indefinite color that the babies have, that gaze mixed with fright and curiosity. Our eyes cross and I’m completely kidnapped, in love, I feel my heart burst. I’m not ready, I’m not strong enough to handle all of this love.

I’m picking flowers for my mom. I’m on the uphill asphalt street of the camp, at the lake. I have to pee. I feel an intense pulsating belly ache. I have to run to the bathroom, but there are the hydrangeas. They have a beautiful blue color, my mom would definitely love them. I collect them jumping from one foot to the other. Oh my God I will pee in my panties. There is a horsefly in the middle of my bouquet. I throw it and the flowers scatter on the ground. I sit on the asphalt, this helps me not to pee, I pick them one by one, yellow, red, purple, white bells that without water already have lowered their petals, the blue hydrangea. And then the horsefly stings me. I’m sitting on it. I cry. I pee. I cry because it hurts, I cry because I’m ashamed to have peed on myself, I cry because, damn horsefly, it was such a nice bouquet.

I’m drunk. No too much to vomit or to forget everything, but enough to let go. I am a volcano of mixed feelings. I am in a difficult time of my life, the last gin tonic has mixed the thoughts, the feelings, the pain of detachment. We laugh at laughing. My abdomen is hurt. I look at her and think that it took me years to find such a special friend. We are talking about a picture that she has given me, it has a photo of a pug dog breed on an old bike. She broke the frame bottom with her nails. Actually, she wanted to use the frame and throw the pug dog breed photo replacing it with a pics of us. But she couldn’t root out the black velvet perfectly glued on the frame’s back. It is objectively a horrible picture. I laugh, I laugh so much. We laugh at being sick. Her beautiful intense blue eyes are blurred by alcohol. I love her.

I’m playing Benny Hill’s comics with my sister. She hums the song and chases me in slow motion when she kicks me in the ass. She does it slowly. I’m tired of being kicked in the ass:

  “Just stop it Larry, you are hurting me.”

That’s not true, but I’m tired. She goes on. I see her loading her long leg and catching the momentum. I catch her foot in the air and lift it up, she falls flat on the gray carpet. She is hurt for real. She screams. My mom screams. I scream in my head but no sound comes out of my mouth. I hear screams inside and out and I cannot scream.

Ginger breathes on my face. My God it stinks. Why do old dogs have this horrible breath?

“Hey Ginsi, you are an old dog.”

She fixes her sweet black eyes on mine, approaches helplessly, the black hair over her eyes has grayed giving her an old wise expression.

“Hey Ginsi, do not leave me ok?”

I cry. She is licking me, God what a horrible stink.



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