I travel back and forth from three, four different houses: one is being bought, one is being rented, one is being left, the other is just visited, with two or three cars (new, old and ready for the scrap yard). I carry my stuff with me, like snails or marsupials. I lose concentration and leave off or forget stuff here and there, and all the trails of stuff I forget follow me, like woolen threads, and wrap around the universe (under the form of pinpoints on Google maps) to remind me about the road back.
I sleep in my own bedroom, full as it is with piles of my favourite books which I’ve brought there to read aloud at a certain point and never put back onto the shelves, or in guest rooms stuffed with long forgotten books and magazines: the ones nobody is ever going to read, perhaps gifts by pious old spinsters or inherited by boring old farts. When I look at all of them I realize that sometimes their titles astutely sneak into my dreams (I’ve dreamt of flying to Egypt with a gypsy version of me in a hot-air balloon where I fried the dog of my hosts alive and then I woke up and saw that the books beside the bed were called “Il cane da compagnia” and “Gli Egizi”).
And in the meantime, all I do is work. And get stressed. It’s been four months since I’ve more than doubled my working rhythm. I’ve beaten my old personal records. And I had to, because I’ve received the 2010 taxes: twenty-thousand Euros, to be paid from August to December. You do the math. Most of it is for pension funds, which is ridiculous given that in this increasingly ageing society they still haven’t had a spare moment to reform the old, stinking, crappy pay-as-you-go system dating back from the Fifties; which means that I am never going to get back even a third of what I’ve paid; which means that I’ve developed an intense yearning to drive over every lonely crone crossing the street. Which means that right now I’m extremely sensitive and sharp. And that I don’t. Have. Time.
I’m a relatively balanced person, and particularly content right now, so it took me some time to realize that I’m getting stressed. I found out just this morning, because I woke up ten times and then overslept (my morning sleep is sacred), I answered back to my brother who called me early in the morning because he needed help, and then felt misty-eyed two times in a single hour, for mere trifles. I spend my time pining for cigarettes and chocolate (“Everything it seems I like’s a little bit stronger, a little bit thicker, a little bit harmful for me“), bathing in coffee and snapping at anyone. I grow conservative and suffer for a simple matter of split hairs. Saturday night, I quarrelled with a beggar because he was playing a 5-string guitar atrociously (he called me a “penny-pincher”), and the morning after I growled at the cleaning lady because she was asking questions I didn’t care to answer to. Add to all this the pleasures and solitude of working from home (from my organizer: “See human faces”; “Read your book”; “Watch the movie you’ve downloaded”; “Set the alarm clock to 6 pm and stop working when it rings”), and you’ll get the picture.
It’s not Monday, so it’s not the perfect time for some new-week resolutions, but I’ll be doing them anyway: I’m locking up the moka this instant.