giovedì 20 gennaio 2011

la nebbia

Everything seems quieter when it rolls in, muffled as when it snows. I'm on my bike returning from a dinner. A boy there, one of my students actually, was worried at first about me biking in the fog, but when I told him I lived near the school he said, "Ok va bene, al meno non è dall'altra parte della città." As long as you're not on the other side of the city.

But I didn't really realize just how dense it had become. The city emerges bit by bit, people, cars, buildings becoming distinct and then dissolving behind me as I pass. There's a strange smell too, humidifier damp muddled with a strange musk. F says that we in centro don't even understand fog like those who live in peripheria. There, he says, is the real fog. But tonight maybe I do. It's so thick I can't see down my own street, when I look up at a lamp I see the tendrils of mist moving through the weak light.

And the people seem uglier, weirder. I see prostitutes for the first time on the corner of Viale Gioia, dancing from foot to foot to keep warm. A little man by Alcatraz is hiding behind one of the big show trucks because he is selling beer illegally, and when he sees me looking he says, "Vai a casa, vai a casa," and he keeps yelling it after me even as I pedal away. Go home go home.

La nebbia a Milano, wintertime is here.

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