Mild opiate withdrawals in a Palermo Pizzeria. My mind is awake and awash with ideas. Scribbling incessantly, I fill the back of a paper place mat, that would perhaps serve better for more sanitary purposes, than with my own self indulgent musings.
Senses alert, I feel alive but frail. Every single scent sound and colour seems super vivid and leads my imagination along pathways through mysterious times and places.
The animals and insects call out clearly, using hyper complicated frequencies. Every ”man made smell’ sets off a detailed trip of wistfulness that takes me on a merry dance, dandering down many alleyways and corridors, some of them false and misleading. There are dead ends too.
The smell of my own cologne transports me away to some place, years ago, a place I’d like to be again, sensations I’d like to reclaim as my own. But when I close my eyes to recall them now they crumble and blow away in the wind. Once the tide takes them, I need not say more…
At night, from the top of Monte Pellegrino, where the statue of Santa Rosalia stands tall and the panorama of the city lies at her feet, the boats seem like stars reflected on the water. I whisper this gently into a foreign girl’s ear, maybe for the 100th time. Her eyes light up with wonderment at these words, never heard by her before. I smile. She is thrilled to be at the edge of the universe. Maybe she can fly? I wouldn’t tell anybody if she could.
I look down at the tiny cars winding their ways around the track. Then back out to sea. To me, the dark water is transparent and I see its depths and rocks and the creatures that swim there. It no longer holds mystery to me.
There is nothing now, but the cool breeze through the coarse shrubbery and the chiming of the bells around the goat’s neck. It’s time to return in silence, gliding backwards through time, down the cold dark side of the mountain.
In the piazza, I can distinguish every individual emotion of every person and every odour, including the washing powder that comes from the mostly white sheets that blow around on the balconies above. I can hear the sounds of TV programmes coming from living rooms and make out the voices of actors. I can smell warm modest dinners, enjoyed thoroughly.
Every tiny vibration seems to have its own fascinating story. The drowsy sound of children playing noisily in the street carries me away with their song. Maybe they will take us with them. One day.
I have the feeling of being in five different times and places, all at once. A deep sense of nostalgia permeates everything.
But at the root of this sensation: how I long for more innocent times, more simple pleasures.
The type that never satisfy me.