The cage

One hundred, one hundred and one, one hundred and two. The neighbour had put on some jazz music. One hundred and five, one hundred and six, one hundred and seven. It was very loud; he was a pianist. A ray of sunlight shone through the window of the bedroom which showed the stains of a hasty washing of its glass, thus proving that only the lower part had been cleaned: the upper part was too difficult to reach. One hundred and sixteen, one hundred and seventeen, one hundred and eighteen. The light hit the right side of the desk, leaving the chair and the person sitting on it in shadow. With his arms crossed over the desk, he had leant his head against it with his messy hair, which reached down to his shoulders. The palm of his right hand remained entirely glued to the surface of the desk, leaving only his little finger to beat the rhythm coming from the next room. One hundred and twenty-four, one hundred and twenty-five, one hundred and twenty-six, one hundred and twenty-seven. Now the little finger changes rhythm, it seems to follow new music. One hundred and thirty-one, one hundred and thirty-two. It has to be a peculiar rhythm, because now four fingers, excluding the thumb, are tapping on the desk. It is not music, it is impatience. Writing the music should be a result of impatience; yet, music is only a product of patience, care, time. Perhaps he was also thinking of this. Or was it a She? Who was this person who lost one hundred and forty-four, one hundred and forty-five, one hundred and forty-six seconds, with his eyes open, in that position? Maybe was he thinking? We will never know. Because, as we seem to approach his face, covered by his arms, we seem to glimpse a wide, distended forehead, like his father. If we turn away, we notice that his body is tall, thin, like his mother. If we get closer, we see a sad face, definitely wet. However, we cannot say anything more, because we remain silent in order to understand that the tapping of fingers on the table equals the duration of a second. The four fingers rest in sequence and we are at one hundred and fifty-nine; fingers resting, one hundred and sixty; fingers resting, one hundred and sixty-one. Meanwhile, the light moves further and further to the right, illuminating part of his head, with dark, slightly wavy hair. Around this person, the air is heavy. It certainly has not been changed since waking up. The light now shifts to the centre of the table where, in front of the crossed arms, there is a box. One hundred and seventy-five, one hundred and seventy-six, one hundred and seventy-seven. It is not a box, it is a cage. Of course, it is a cage: 15 cm by 13 cm by 20 cm. It has small bars covering its four sides, below it is closed, above it has a small door with a timer. Yes, it looks like the classic oven timer, the microwave timer. And that is where the rhythm comes from. One hundred and ninety, one hundred and ninety-one, one hundred and ninety-two. Inside the cage there is a mobile phone, which lights up continuously. They are not messages but notifications: a new video has been posted, emails have arrived, there are football news and downloaded games. And meanwhile we are at two hundred and ten, two hundred and eleven, two hundred and twelve. The plastic cage is now fully lit. Gradually the head rises, to rest only on one side, on the right elbow. The arms remain crossed on the table. We thus glimpse a green eye with yellow spots: like its father. We thus see shy freckles under a very pronounced eye, like his mother. Two hundred and thirty, two hundred and thirty-two. Tiny droplets crystallise the exposed part of his forehead, and run down his face, his eyelashes baring their path. Even his hands leave sweat marks on the desk. Will he be hot? Cold? Two hundred and fifty. The right leg begins to dance, two hundred and sixty. The eye closes, two hundred and seventy. One arm extends, two hundred and eighty. The hand grasps the cage, two hundred and ninety. This is it, at last, the face will be revealed, we will know the identity of the character in the story. Three hundred. The cage begins to shake, the timer has finished counting the seconds. The right hand opens the cage, the face remains briefly exposed. We could finally see his face, understand who this person is, but we do not have the time. He picks up his mobile phone, brings it in front of his eyes and smiles. He says in a low voice: โ€œBetter and betterโ€. The cage closes again: a new record has been broken. Three hundred seconds without using the phone, three hundred seconds of abstinence. And now that the screen is back in front of his favourite eyes, two hours pass in peace, crouching and lying on that same table, where five minutes had seemed an eternity.

Pubblicato da Grandi Storielle

Siamo sei ragazze, Carola, Celia, Hannah, Livia, Morena e Sara che si sono conosciute in Erasmus a Chambรฉry e hanno ora deciso di mettere a disposizione la loro piccola ma grande arte per tutti.


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