Closed for mourning

by Claudia Ravaldi

Michele is 40 years old, a bar and a baby on the way.

Michele waits, and works.

Around him, as if it were a fever, everyone is waiting. They ask how much is missing. They ask when the birth is due. They promise to offer a drink, but only if Matteo has the eyes of Laura, his mother, ” that yours are mouse-colored “, says Alberto slyly, a school and life friend.

Wait, Michele, and dream, as in slow motion, the day that will meet Matteo’s gaze, hopefully green, and not mouse-gray . What will he say. The kisses he will give to Laura, full of gratitude and love. The thousand photos he will take, to be sure not to forget anything of that moment.

He waits, and he already sees it, the egg on the counter, the customers melting into cries of joy, the customers congratulating, the wives in unsolicited advice.

It’s night, Michele comes home, he’s closed, he’s exhausted. He is carrying on with the hours, to spend more time with Laura and Matteo, as soon as he is born.

All calculated.

Re-enter, find Laura on the sofa, awake. He hugs her, starts to put a hand on her stomach, but Laura jumps back.

“I feel strange.”, She murmurs. The voice as if it came from another world. The lost gaze of someone who is afraid, but doesn’t know what to say.

“Let’s go to the hospital” Michele jumps to his feet, alert.

“But they told the prep course not to fidget for no reason” again Laura, again from another world. “Maybe I’m just exaggerated.”

Michele feels a tightening just below his throat.

Fear has arrived. In double ration.

Fear for Matteo ( please tell us this ), fear for Laura ( please don’t go away ).

A fear within another fear, the desire to react, to fight, to solve this nightmare.

They set out, just as they are. Already lost in that abyss which frightens them, and which they do not know how to name.

It will be the duty of the doctor on duty to give a name to the abyss.

She will have to look at her belly, she will have to look first at her and then at him, she will have to pronounce that phrase, which she would never have to say.

Not even pretend, not even during a simulation.

Michele will have to hear the sound of the words-bullets, which shatter his dream and his future.

Laura will have to bring out the ancestral instinct of mothers and give birth to Matthew, and recognize him, and greet him.

A sentence comes to mind that she has read, she no longer knows where. It had seemed absurd at the time.

“It’s always hard when a person dies, under any circumstances. A hole opens in the world. And we must celebrate this mourning. Otherwise the hole will never close again. ” HARUKI MURAKAMI

“Celebrating mourning – he thought then – What nonsense.”

Michele and Laura were waiting for Matteo. They are still waiting for him, which has yet to be born. They will still be waiting for him, a little after the birth. Maybe they will never stop waiting, no one can know today.

“Love” – Laura looks at Michele, the doctor on call has spoken, the abyss has opened – we have to tell the others. We are closed for mourning “.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.