15,000 Feet – Chapter IV


Lights, drums, bass. A tam tam of hands, bass, and more lights. Red, slanted, white and purple. A boy on the stage. Screams, paper thin, incredibly tall, pierced nose. Braided bracelets. Of rubber and metal, on the thin left wrist.

The bass player is bald, massive, tattoed. The drum player is sweaty, altered, possessed. Giulia is in the maelstrom of the madding crowd.

Will I find room to survive? Cascades of music. The screams turn to silence. Only the cymbals vibrate… And the drums. The clapping gets faster, obsessive and excessive. Thousands of candles. For an arena in an adrenalin explosion. The drummer’s foot beats the last beat. On the tom-tom. The vocalist throws his black beret to the crowd. There… Purple hair! Mythical, brazen!

Hands, feet, heads and bodies scrambling over the beret. And all together!

Giulia stands aside, staring at the human magma. The music picks up again.

With louder screaming and faster rhythm. Dull! Each regains his own body.

That he had thrown in the throng over the beret. Pieces of bodies returned to their owners. They have “different stories.” Some a bruise, a scratch, somebody else’s sweat, somebody you had never met before. And that you’ll never meet again. Skin to skin, a handful of seconds.

The bass starts with a solo. The sound squeezes the stomach, glues you to the floor, hypnotizes you.

Giulia’s anxious eyes keep looking around for Luna…

Red t-shirt, short black hair. Over green eyes… Nothing… Red t-shirts alone, short black hair by itself… No combination… No Luna’s!

The music now fades out. The group says “THANKS!” and fakes a retreat.

Screams from the public. The vocalist’s feet turn around quickly. A leap. And the mike already! Then he makes an obscene gesture, following the ritual.

Clapping and delirium. The encore is mandatory. Everybody knows it. But a bit more praying, entreating, acclaim. He is there again, on the rear of the stage, backstage. Waiting.

Scream, scream, scream, clap your hands…. Come back!

Now he’s back!

Luna where the hell are you?

Her head is pounding and she can’t hear anything any more. Octopus of people falling over her…

To combat positions, the band in on the stage now. Ready to fend the air. Five

more minutes. Music, sound and rite. Waiting for the sacrifice. Ending, the public in delirium. Exhausted, dazed, he waves T-shirts. Over the last heart-beat.

Luna, where do I find you?

Anxiety in Giulia’s eyes. One hundred and eighty degrees, and all over the arena. Where folly twists features. Everyone’s face resembles everyone else.

Sweat and flush on drawn faces.

A girl behind Giulia hits her. Giulia falls forward. Unbalanced, she seeks her balance. And whirls around.

“Shit… Luna? Are you crazy? I almost had a stroke.” Luna laughs. “Can’t hear you… It’s the last piece. Let yourself go. It’s so cool!”  “Let’s go, it’s late!” Giulia’s irrepressible screams. Music gone wild. Drum solo. Luna is back in the throng. Jumps, wiggles and pushes. Happier than ever. Giulia is worn out.  She leans on a crush barrier protecting the wall. She is profoundly envious.

Please let me be a wall. For protection.



15,000 Feet – Chapter III

Debby’s moped runs wildly through the streets. She doesn’t know where to go,
nor whom to call. Giulia would say “No”. That’s for sure. But Debby waits. Before
calling. Because she is afraid of “No’s”. So categorical. And hostile! Better “let’s
see,” “let me think,” “I don’t know.”
She makes a right turn and reasons.
And if the mother doesn’t want you? Oh stop it… They know you are a friend. And what
would they care? You go to her room. Giulia’s. And in her bed. Her comfortable  bed will be
okay for two. Come on, Giulia won’t say “No”!
Via Ostiense. The moped double parks. Hand that plunges. A cell phone
emerges from the jacket. The display says five calls.
Fuck, mom… what a pain in the arse! You know… that I won’t answer… and won’t call
Phone numbers, number, enter. Rings.
Come on, Giulia, answer.
More rings. A light in Debby’s head. A beam of light. Now she remembers.
Giulia is at the concert! And here I am on the street… 9.40… Only twenty minutes to the
new nominations.
The cell phone rings.
It’s mom. Refuse the call! Balestra, Carmeli, Goretti… Debby’s head quickly runs
through the roll call at school. There must be someone, I can call. There’s Fefè. Of
course! And he has a big house. Invaded by friends. His brother’s. And his parents are
never home. It would really be rotten luck if he wasn’t home!
Cars dashing by. Close to Debby with her cell phone.
Come on Fefè!
Fefè’s hand on the cell phone. “Debby!” Music and noise overwhelming it. “Hi
Fefé, I wanted to ask you…” “Speak louder… Where are you? On the street?”
Debby doesn’t know what to say, caught unprepared. Quick, change subject!
“Shall I pass by? See the nominations together?” “Come on over! It’s a mess
here. My brother is having a party. He flunked chemistry again.”

“And he’s partying over it?! “That way he can put off the dissertation… He says
he’s doing because there’s no work! But where are you?”
“At Ostiense” “Gosh, hurry then! You’ll miss the nominations…” Debby hangs
up. The heck with tuna and tomatoes. Your mother’s mask of pretended serenity. Not to
worry you with problems, she says. Which she throws at you at the first fit.