When I was eight, we moved from Dalmine San Giuseppe to Mariano di Dalmine. Those are two different areas of the same city, which, if I am right, is composed of seven major areas, each of which includes a few neighbourhoods. Each one of those seven areas is in competition with the other ones, and with one especially -Mariano competes with the neighbouring Brembo. So much that when Brembo’s football team played against Mariano’s, my middle school mates were actually arguing over the match (I supported Mariano because it was my favourite classmate’s team). And there is a lot of close-mindedness and bigotry as well, since each area behaves, and thinks, as if it were a village rather than part of an actual city.
So tonight I went for a brief walk in my neighbourhood in Mariano.
The lady who used to have two cats and three dogs, that I would greet on my way back home from school every day (and on Thursdays I always happened to see the lady herself and we had a little chat), now only has two dogs. So sad… but she still remembers me and greeted me enthusiastically, so we exchanged a few words.
Opposite her house used to live one of my classmates in middle school, S. He was a very nice guy, who got bullied during our first year (when we were 11/12) because he was overweight; then he became kind of cool because he played the guitar quite well, but, unlike the other cool guys, was still very nice and up for a chat with everyone. But today, outside his house, there was not his family, but other people I have never seen before. S. has moved out and… well, we still used to have a quick chat if we met around Mariano, but if he moved anywhere else we will never meet. That’s sad.
And then I went on -after the crossroad, there is an old house with a fat black cat always lying around in the garden, and then a house owned by an old lady who has a dog and who once asked me to help her taking out the bins because she could not manage. And after that time, we would always chat as well, generally on those mornings when my first lesson had been cancelled and I was at the bus stop close to her house later than usual. And today… well, today the dog was not there and there was a young couple sitting in the garden; I know for sure that she only has a daughter, who should be not younger than forty, and lives quite far from her. I do not want to have a confirmation of my fears!
And at the end of that road, if you turn right, you will find yourself in a house that was said to be my music teacher’s. Prof M. was by far my favourite teacher in middle school, because he knew that my classmates were never going to pay attention to him so he kept discipline by engaging them as much as possible. And he led the rehearsals for the school’s band on Mondays, which was my favourite time of the week during middle school. As I have mentioned before, I did not really enjoy the mornings because I definitely was unpopular -and could not even play the guitar, unlike S., only the recorder… which was enough to take part in the school band anyway-; but there were a few cool people on Monday afternoons, such as G., who I found as a classmate in secondary school when my original class was dismembered, S. about whom I have talked, and D. who was the Mariano’s supporter. And L. and A., who were quite nice as well. Basically, every person to have been nice to me in the third and last year of middle school was participating in that band, so it is easy to understand why I liked my music teacher so much, since he convinced me to take part in the band even if I could not manage anything more than a recorder!
But in his garden there was none of his family. So incredibly sad, again!
And when I turned that corner, it was to meet eyes with C., a lovely girl I was close friends with during the summer after we had left middle school, but with whom I have had the only big row I have ever had with a friend. Which still remains unsolved to this day…, so meeting her was embarrassing, weird, irritating and… SAD. So much sadness just from a fifteen minutes walk, what has my life come to!?
BUT THEN… then I saw L. and A.’s mate at middle school, M., passing by on his motorbike, as he used to do when we all were fourteen. The best moment of the day was when we waved at each other!
And while we are on memory lane…, earlier this week I also happened to meet one of my primary school’s classmates, S. I am ashamed of this, but my group of friends (which related more to the ‘bad kids’ than to the ‘Hermione’ I became in middle school) used to make fun of him for his ‘Snorlax’ figure. Well… he is the nicest guy ever, good to talk with, funny, with a lots of interests, a bit disorganised and chaotic but definitely the best to spend a night out with!
I may have had my bike stolen and noticed everything in my neighbourhood had changed, but this week was not a complete failure!