Inexplicably, perhaps due to a technical error during the journey, he had arrived at the wrong destination. And consider that he was told: “Remember, when you pass by the Earth, do not slow down, do not stop, but speed up”. They had also provided him a clear explanation of a force. How was it already? Gravity force? Dunno, he does not remember. But the Earth was so beautiful. He swears he could not resist such beauty. He opened his eyes widely, his heart went mad and he admits it: not only did he slow down and stop, but he also admired it, motionless. This giant ball had colors he had never seen before: deep blue and green which sometimes turned into brown. Occasionally it was surrounded by white cotton from which many drops of water came out; occasionally by grey cotton from which a real waterfall with blinding white or yellow flashes came out and it was always followed by a loud, deafening, frightening noise. However, as he tried to look at the part of the Earth under the light of the great King, the Sun, he suddenly felt attracted to it by a force whose name he could not remember, and suddenly, “paf”! He literally falls out of the blue into this peninsula which looks like a boot from above. Oh my god, what a strange place. I have never seen anything like this. He knew immediately that it was Italy. He had heard so much about it: pasta, the parties, the sea, the mountains, the colors, the perfumes, the hospitality and above all, nice people. Not only that, Italy had good chocolate, exquisite liqueurs, fashion, pizza, and good wine as well… He was so happy to be in this paradise full of churches and art, of cinema, and literature, but when he stands up, he sees… Nothing. He saw nothing at all. There are beautiful and colorful streets. One can smell the tomato sauce coming out of that window. The bells are ringing, the Mass is about to begin. But otherwise? Everything is closed. No one in the streets. Something must have happened. I have to understand. They told him they were hospitable, so he tries to ask someone. He approaches a door. “Who are you?” “Hello madam, I am a foreigner and I have just arrived and I wanted to ask if…” “Do you have a mask?” “Excuse me?” “I’m asking if you have a mask!” “I don’t understand.” “Then if you don’t understand, goodbye.” He was just about to wonder what the lady meant with her words, but here comes a man: tall, elegant, with neat hair and two blue eyes which were looking at him with disdain. He has a mask on too. It is blue and covers half of his face: from the nose to the chin. “Move away, I do not want to fight. Go and buy a mask.” “Where can I buy one?” “Where do you want to buy it? At the pharmacy? Bring out the money.” He wanted to ask him what it was, but he just smiled and left. What a disaster. Was the world really that bad? He is sorrowful and sits down on the ground. He despairs. And now what? Just as he was about to start crying, he hears someone singing. He had never heard such a beautiful voice before. It is a whisper and it so melodious, so sweet, so emotional, that it seems impossible to exist in a place where people wear masks to cover their mouths.
“Ah hello my friend.” He is addressing me. This man is so handsome, he looks shabby, but he is very cheerful, and he is smiling at him. Wait, if he is smiling, he is not wearing a mask, but why? I do not get it. “You are not wearing a mask!” Wait a minute, what am I doing? Am I treating the others as they have treated me? The other man immediately replies: “As if you had one, my friend…” He is right. I sit down next to him. “I do not have it because I do not know what money is.” The man lights up and immediately replies, “Neither do I!”
I start laughing. How funny is this man who is not elegant, does not treat me badly, does not wear a mask and does not have money? “I do not have a mask because nobody wants to move closer to me. So, it would not help. I do not have a house. I have many friends who leave me these coins, you see, this is money. I only have a spare mask because respect for other people is always important. Otherwise, I live like this.”
“Don’t you see? I choose a place I like. Usually a bridge. I sit down and start singing, playing, laughing, telling myself things. Some friends bring me to eat, others offer me a cigarette. Ah, you do not know what it is. Trust me, it is better you do not know it. Besides, I enjoy it.”
“Life! This opportunity to have come into the world without asking for it. Life is a gift, a surprise. You can live in this wonderful world without asking for it and you have to learn how to live. But you have to see how people complicate this life. They do not understand that life is a gift, as a result they start to create problems, to follow ideas that no one has said they are right, to create relationships with people without anyone having imposed it on them, and then to complain about those same people. I do not understand them. But more, they go to school but only to get a degree. Then, if you ask them what they have understood from life and what they have learned from the history they have studied, from the literature they have read, they look at you as if you were crazy. Blessed be madness, in all its forms. And then they make appointments, they take the car to go and buy some bread. They go to supermarkets and buy everything which is more colorful, more appetizing and with a lot of preservatives. Ah! You do not know what preservatives are. It is better like this. If you ask people if they are happy, they will laugh in your face. They seem to have a lot of problems. And now that they have stay out all day to do things they had forced themselves to do, they find themselves locked up at home. Poor ones.”
“Ah no. I do not have a home. My house right now is next to you, for example. And when the police stop people for breaking curfew, they give them tickets. Ah, you do not know what they are, trust me, it is better like this. However, if the police see me, they look at me and do not say anything.”
“I guess you are a strange person here.”
“I’m a tramp”.
“Who is a tramp?”
“A tramp is a person who is free to do as he likes. I change my life every day, always looking for happiness, which is my money. I live for it. And when I am unhappy, sadness becomes my money. I stand in the rain and sing all my sorrow and people give me money because they see something true and pure. They see it, I live it.”
“Can I be a tramp too?”
“Only on one condition: you have to be happy but also sad because it is good for you; you have to love before being loved; and you have to put a mask on your face because otherwise you will have to know what a fine is and trust me, you will not like it! AHAHAH!”