RITORNO A SETTEFRATI
English version Italian version
Daniele the painter is back; today it should be done. The place looks good and it is a nice color. Everything smells new and clean. There are no more dust clouds everywhere. The floors have been washed and re-washed many times ad now they are beautiful and bright. The new couch and bed have arrived; I have also bought new blankets to cover them, all in harmony with the new color scheme. And to make it complete, I also got a new tablecloth. Everything goes with the new colors on the walls and this creates a festive atmosphere. I am a first-class artist. With my friend, we even washed the windows of the balconies. It seems that my little house is all dressed up to celebrate “the holiday”. My friends come to see my masterpiece and congratulate with me on my choice of the colors. Nevertheless, my back and my shoulders are sore and it will it take quite a bit of rest to heal. REST: what I nice idea! After all, didn’t I come here for some peace and calm? I do not even remember. I should just enjoy the little time that I have left before I leave. Tonight, in the arcades in the square there is a bustle of people moving about. The office of the Pro Loco is open late; they are organizing the “Festival of Sagne and Beans”. I am all dressed up, in a light sleeveless dress with a plunging neckline.
I ditched my usual outfit of pants and a shirt that has made us Americans famous in a non-positive way; our style could be called casual and comfortable. I am sitting at the front of the café; it is a very hot night. The air is heavy and we drink more than usual. People seem to make noise and to talk louder. Some women fan themselves. While I am sitting calmly chatting, I feel movement on my right shoulder. I turn and see a green grasshopper, as big as the palm of my hand that is sitting on my shoulder. I scream and jump, flicking it away with my hand. The grasshopper seems to be looking at me with a stern countenance; it bats its wings and shrugs its antennae but otherwise it does not move. My neighbors start laughing; I have a morbid fear of insects and this seems a giant to me. I shake it off from my shoulder once again and finally it falls down but I do not know where. I do not care where it went, as long as it stays away from me. I'm calm now I sit and I take a sip of my cold drink. A little after that, I see him again on a vase of flowers that is right next to my feet. I am sure that he felt my fear towards it and that now is following me on purpose to taunt me. I jump up on my feet and it jumps on my leg. I get even more nervous and the grasshopper starts climbing up my leg! How I wish I had worn pants! I shake my leg vigorously, but it doesn’t budge. Immediately, I take a rolled newspaper and I hit it a few times. Finally it disappears. To make sure I don’t see him anymore, I quickly go up to the Colle to enjoy the starry night.
Delia Socci Skidmore