Andrea 40 – On the fortieth day of quarantine I focused on what is the thing that most off all gets me frustrated: uncertainty. That middle ground between the regret for things that didn’t happen and the reality of those that have taken on a definite outline. But it’s not just that for me: uncertainty is also that feeling of suspension, as if I were in a limbo, that operativity that can be summarize in a sentence, “the things I do meanwhile”, waiting for something to arrive. You know when you arrive at the airport long before your flight? Between you and that flight there is some unplanned time, during which you do, in fact, things to pass the time: a useless tour of the shops, knowing you won’t buy anything, a coffee at the bar, because it’s a good way to spend 5 minutes without spending much money, a phone call to that one friend you haven’t heard from for a while but that you only think about when you have nothing to do. There: for forty days we have been at the airport, and on the departures screen there is a large writing next to our flight: delayed, but without knowing for how long. We don’t know when to leave and ultimately, the ingredients we are using (to go back to yesterday’s subject) apply for the airport, that is, home, but we don’t know which ones to use to resume our flight. Will we wear a medical mask? Will we have “plexiglass holidays”? Will we still have a job, and people willing to invest in the services we once offered? There is also a third aspect of the uncertainty, the one that has always caused me problems. The waiting. I realized I couldn’t stand it when I was a teenager, always looking forward the passing of time to grow up or get a bit taller, to be no longer considered a middle school child at 15 years old. And I still couldn’t stand it when I was waiting for answers after a job interview, and I was always tempted to send HR these kind of emails: “Hi, I’m sorry but these days I’ve had some issues with my emails.. could it be that you sent me something and I missed the chance of a lifetime?”. Today I am waiting, we are waiting, and uncertainty keeps me awake.
Miriam 40 – You speak of uncertainty, of wait, dear Andre. I, however absurd it may seem, can’t associate neither of these terms with the moment we are living, and here it is why. I’ve been an actress for twenty years and, except for these recent years, where I am part of a cast that works daily (which is very rare in our profession), I spent two third of my working life hopping right between these two words. Always worrying that, after the final applause and the phrase “this was the last shot for Miriam Candurro”, could follow a moment, not better defined in terms of time, of great uncertainty and endless wait. At the beginning, seven, eight, even ten months could go by before starting a new set, before living in the shoes of another woman, before telling a new story. And in those months, I would go crazy, because I couldn’t let my emotions out the way I knew. But I was probably learning to manage my two travel companions, I was getting to know them, not to fear them but rather to draw benefits from them. What many are learning on their own skin, suddenly, in forty days, I have known, metabolized, managed, in twenty years. So let me tell you what’s the first thing that comes into my mind when I think of this period. It’s not an airport, waiting for a delayed flight, but the flight above the ocean. Those hours where below, above, and around you there is only light blue, you are no longer in Europe, but you are not in America yet. You pass the time watching movies, rearranging your phone’s photo gallery, thinking about how it’s going to be when you’ll step out of the plane. You feel that thrill of fear at the thought that you are suspended in the air, that something might happen, but you project your thoughts towards the landing. There, I feel like I’m traveling, excited at the idea that soon I’ll be touching ground. On a new Earth, of which I know little but in which, I am sure, I will learn to adapt at the speed of light.