Mild opiate withdrawals in a Palermo Pizzeria (prose)

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.


About danielkenyon

I was born in England in 1977, with Irish ancestry and graduated in literature at the university of Ulster in Northern Ireland, where I took a great interest in the troubles and paramilitary activity. I have been travelling and living around Europe since 2000. I lived in Prague for one year where I worked in the adult tourist industry and walked the mean dark streets, dealing with pick pockets, Russian Mafia, Nigerian drugs gangs and Bulgarian Gypsy prostitutes. I have lived in Palermo, Italy, since 2007, where I have extensively researched Sicilian history and the Mafia. Like a moth to a flame, I am drawn to the poorest and most crime ridden areas to gain inspiration. For me, the invisible or untouchable people are the most real and human of all. They feature heavily in all my writing. My latest fact based crime thriller is called The Savage Heart of Palermo. Much of the book was inspired by real people, places and events. All names have been changed to protect the guilty and myself. I myself am an ex criminal and drug user who has spent periods of time in prison, hence my interest in crime fiction and noir. I have a wealth of experience to draw from. I always write from the point of view of the criminals and the police are very marginal in my books. I find them boring. Some of my characters are like myself, 'bad boys turned good' and others are just bad to the bone. I am currently working on another crime thriller and para-paranormal noir romance about Irish Travellers and Romany Gypsies, entitled, The Bare Knuckle Fighter. I am also reviewing my memoirs from Prague, entitled The Dark Streets of Prague and hope to have them to a publishable standard before long. My real life is stranger than the fiction I write. As you will find, in The Bare Knuckle Fighter, I am interested in playing around with and hinting at the paranormal (hence para-paranormal) but never rendering it completely supernatural, as I want to leave the reader with more questions than satisfaction. Paradoxically, I am a die hard sceptic who likes the idea of the unknown. I am self employed and work as a writer, editor, journalist, translator, English teacher and general dog's body. I live each day at a time on the fringes of society. I have no idea where I will be in ten minutes time, let alone ten years. I am fluent in Italian and have translated books, including scuba diving manuals and the Universal History of Islam. One of my hobbies is reading Italian noir fiction in which crimes are rarely solved. Italians are the masters of pessimistic style crime thrillers. I hope you will be reading my work soon and that you will have strong feelings about it.
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