Alek O.—The Empire Of Light
and by appointment
Victor. If that was his name, Victor, whether it was a male or female, kid or centenarian, whether he was a kind of god, or simply a human, forgotten and hunchbacked because of time, as the rest of us, nobody knew. Victor, as it is said, is the Mover-of-things (Naset-Koast’t), the Harvester (Bijrigiri), the magic Child (Xilumium pronj’t), the Old Man who gently knocks (Zan’jèe), the Little Girl who makes the clouds come and go (Bul’kerat).
Victor is a typical dream down our way, small towns of little relevance, where tales born and die as quickly as men do, and leave traces in the dense bottoms of beers’ mugs, the only official records among us, when capable of reading them. Our hearts like to tell and forget. often and quickly.
Maj’nà, one of us, dreamed of being at Victor’s house the day before yesterday, one night where the moon made everything brighter. He wasn’t home, she said, was out moving, gathering, knocking, and keeping the moon high and bright as it was, so that he could have had enough light. Maj’nà started wandering, light on her feet, in that desert of wonder.
There were endless things stored around her, she said, things on top of things, laying, both tidied up or like in a mess, in a quite familiar way though one she couldn’t discern completely. Everything was stuck together as to form a tangle of rooms with no ceilings. Up in the sky, the full-beam lamp of the moon: milky light, violet shadows.
At one point she saw, coming out of a pile of fabrics and shirts, a colored ribbon; in that very moment she recalled she had lost that ribbon, but when was it? Ten years ago? Fifteen? It was red and green, ashy. She pulled out the ribbon impulsively, to see it, and heard a sort of rattle. All eerily creaked, the walls crashed. She started running and running and, out of the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of things falling at her back: the coat rack grown away years before, the living room carpet and all the dust that had been combed was now rising as in a storm; mismatched gloves, white black red green yellow, were spinning in a big vortex; the clocks and the thousandths, the hundredths, the lost seconds, the replaced batteries, the clock hands turned by hand (daylight saving time, winter time), the tic-toc’s, from the first to the last ones, the countdowns, the old years, the new years; the mobile from 2000, with the small antenna, the one which came after, compact, with Tetris and sms sent by him, she jealously kept; the computers, the TV’s, their polystyrene packages, the tape machine and the tapes with radio songs on; a throng of beach towels, the shells from many beaches, the gardens plants, the gathered leaves, thrown, carefully put in a book to dry and then behind glass, in a small frame at the entrance, welcoming; the doormats, one after the other: benvenuto-welcome-rhombus-stripes-pois; the glass chandelier, with all bulbs being replaced, vibrant as agglomerated stars, warm, cold, white, perfect, she heard it smashing on the floor in teeny-tiny shatters; home keys and his goodbye kiss before heading out; the doors open and closed a million times, gently closed, closed for good, slammed by the wind: those days when it noisily whistled between the hardwares and beat up the hinges; the rain on the glasses, the cloudy traces, the oblique lines, the tears; the yellow umbrella, fuchsia, with flower pattern, and the black umbrella: such a funeral that there was a storm, all went lost, one after the other, now all present, richly colourful, flying, she said; the curtains and the burning sun, and that last summer morning, when he was gone.
She was running with no rest and restlessly falling, as in the dream usually happens and from running and falling she reached the shiny moon. Maj’nà turned and from the most beautiful balcony she saw her planet down there, she said, her things, from the first to the last one, still falling and spinning. All her stuff and all her time. That was her life, a labyrinth resembling Zenji’laarj’s, she said, touched, to us unrolling those mugs as scrolls of untouchable texts. And as she was there on the round and at moon, she nally felt light, distant.
She woke up and hanged for a little while in between those two worlds. She washed her face and looked at herself in the mirror, she had a nice light blue pj’s, she said, and when she saw a ribbon coming out of a closet she pulled it out: “toh, here were you hiding!”; it was red and green, flashy, and she tied it in her hair. She looked at herself carefully and as for an old habit she disclosed her lips to say hi to him, who was on her side smiling: “Morning Victor”, she said.