Thursday, June 3, 2010


Allessandros' tyres have been slashed again. He says it's because he is from Rome but I don't know. He rocks between anger and laughter then suddenly picks up Mr Brigadiers' glass and hurls it at the teenagers across the street. There is a moment when it's alright as the glass bounces once but miracles don't happen twice and everybody lets out a sigh as it smashes and lets loose the young men. Allessandro is down and I try to deflect the kicks then it is over, nothing malicious just bantams crowing and fighting.
He plays chess like a gentleman. Indicates when I am in danger and wants me to take back a move that he considers stupid and then cries out 'I cannot play like this' when I won't. We play fast. Bang, bang, bang and as soon as he feels I have an advantage he knocks his king over with a great flourish. Sure he wins but then he gives me Stautons chess book in english and says I have to read it from cover to cover before he'll play me again.
I feel for him. His heart is in Rome but his ailing parents are in Roccasecca. He must travel sometimes 3 hours each way to work as a lighting tehnician in Rome for 1000euros a month. 'But I love them' he pleads and 'I can't afford to live and I can't afford to die'. He's fond of quotes and not a good listener but what he says has huge meaning and I can sit with him for hours trying to decipher his wonderful mind. We have a common love of Bertrand Russell and both read his 'History of Western Philosophy' at an early age which certainly opened my eyes and, I suspect, his.
So heres to you brother. Long may you hold court at the bar and I will sit and wonder and kiss your feet.

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