Andrea 19 – “In times of war we would only eat rice and potatoes” and “When the Americans arrived, they brought chocolate and cigarettes”. If I think of the way my grandma or my aunts spoke about the immediate post war period, I think about these two sentences. Today I asked my team to start thinking about DAY 1, the one in all caps though, the DAY 1 par excellence, the day of recovery. But my personal thought hasn’t dwelled on that yet. It might have been superstition, but I didn’t wanna write my first moves. I know what I miss, and I know that I might start with that, that I will get in the car and drive to Naples, but that’s it. My mind made a leap forward. To a place, to a time and an undefined speaker to whom, though, in this “zero moment” of mine, I am trying to tell “my” Coronavirus. Will he understand me when I’m going to tell him that we have all been “forced” to download an app to grocery shop online, he that will only grocery shop online? Will he understand me when I’m going to tell him that a lot of people didn’t see each other for a long time, when for him it will be normal to have life- size videocalls, or even avatars? I will tell him that those a bit younger than him were initially called “generation Z”, but that because of a virus they became those of the “Segregation Economy”, buying and consuming locked in the house. That we all did. And that today my saviour’s name is not John, he is not American, and he is not bringing dark chocolate. His name is Alessandro, Luca or Giovanni, he comes from the Esselunga and he delivers my groceries home.
Miriam 19– Who knows how long it’s going to be until this DAY 1 ALL CAPS. Today I was thinking instead of all the bad things we say without pondering too much.
Have you ever fought with someone and said, in a fit of rage, things you never meant to say? Those half sentences, those recriminations, those thoughts that, once said, leave a relentless void, like a point of no return. It happened to me a few times. And the thing I remember the most is that horrible feeling of helplessness, the desire to take back the things said, the inability to go back in time to put everything back the way it was, has if nothing happened. That word, SORRY, that sometimes works like a little magic word and erase the grudge, sometimes doesn’t.
Here, I was recalling that feeling while watching, live on tv just an hour ago, an empty San Pietro square, and a man, small among the deserted colonnade, rising the whole world’s prayers to the sky.
How I wish, dear Andre, I could say, today, to God or whoever lives up there, SORRY. How I wish I could turn back time, just enough to avoid what we are experiencing now. I don’t know if our actions caused what happened, but I wish I could say SORRY and wake up, tomorrow morning, from this incredible nightmare. Or wake up and find it is DAY 1 ALL CAPS, as you call it.