She was a gray-brown Maltese dog and got lost at the railway in Neapolis region. Her name was Fifika. Yovanna and I had been looking for her the whole afternoon. She wasn’t our dog, we were just helping a friend.
Well, listen: as we were searching between the wagons I was thinking that, dog or no dog, the upcoming night was like a maid shaking the freshly ironed bedsheets. Yovanna was the first one to get on the wagons, holding my hand, whistling, bending down to look under the rusted wheels, maybe she was also wondering what we were going to do next. They were so many rocks between the rails, probably the remains of a violent stoning. And garbage too. Thousands of scraps of creased paper, among cigarette butts and refreshment cans, insulated wires and all kinds of dirt – but also a plastic sunflower. Yovanna’s laughter frightened an owl that was sleeping nearby, and the bird started fluttering towards the trees – we had forgotten we were looking for the dog.
We didn’t find her. We got the shoes out of the room and checked for hot water. I turned on the TV, Yovanna threw the clothes on the hall’s floor and got into the shower. She asked me to make coffee, but I couldn’t find the filter papers. It was easy though. They were at the back of the first shelf. And as the coffeemaker was glugging, I spied through the keyhole. I don’t know why I did it. I just saw her back. I got two matching cups of the same diameter, a red and a white one, the scent of the bodywash poured into the whole house. Yovanna got in, with her towel and her wet hair, and asked me to stand up so that she would get dressed. I hanged my trousers, took my shoes off and grabbed a towel, took a shower, wiped my body, dried my hair.
She was on the couch, under the sheet, holding her cup and flipping through the channels. She asked me what we were going to eat and went on to check if the half pack of lasagna was still there. I logged into Facebook and lighted up a cigarette. Instead of the usual memes, a friend had posted the video clip of Wonderful Life. I hadn’t watched it for so many years.
The singer looking blue by the sea, hands in pockets, everything black and white: the ship moving in slow motion – probably getting ready to dock –, the roller-coaster full of carefree and happy passengers, the clouds and the sky, those hanging out on the seafront, the boys looking at the camera, the girl with the beautiful profile, the singer running in slow motion while the others look up to see what’s happening (or having turned their backs, that’s fair too). It was like watching myself when far from her.
Ι don’t know why, but then I remembered Xenophanes, the pre-Socratic philosopher. I pressed the repeat button and Ι kept watching the faces on screen passing before my eyes in the form of donkeys. What if this animal, hooked on a different evolutionary fate, had dominated our planet? Obviously, the same things: Paleolithic and Neolithic eras, Troy, Agamemnon and Achilles braying over an untamed maid, roman orgies with hay and barley, persecutions by kicking and conquests of cities, resurrections, enlightenments, four-legged creatures marching through Manchuria.
And finally, the donkeys would end up here, in a music video clip. The ass in love and the other ones watching the sea while wagging their tails.
And a keyboard for writing these words right here, just with a bit wider keys.