I ‘d like to have, now, a way of escape to avoid to have to tell the inexpressible part of my life, those episodes that have affected heavily my existence and that little, very little persons know and, even them, don’t know completely.
One of them is Carlo, my former husband, that gave ospitality to me, notwithstanding we were already separated, when the evil deed happened. Maybe he too was so shocked to give up forever to my person, to decide in his heart my belonging, from that evil moment, to another world to him luckily unknown. A sentence written on my skin that I had willingly accomplished in those years of my first youth, as if I knew and recognized the course, the inevitability of that fate that, unconsciously, I already knew how to face.
A third party sentence paied for on my skin, absolute… and I surviving…
More than one year ago, on the Blog, I began my life’s story with a journey during which many consequences occurred, in 1974, the year in which my sister Halina, Ala for me, lost her life.
The person who invited me to leave for Afghanistan, Giorgio Conti, appeared in my life suddenly, came in my house and settled down in it during that spring.
Leaving for East
Good for nothing, but knowing exactly what he wanted and with the moral suppport of much hashish and afghan oil to smoke, he fixed his presence in an irrevocable manner. In that period he was always without money, circumstance that should have made me think, when suddenly he could offer me a journey to Kabul starting from London to Karachi and continuation with local means of transport up to the afghan capital.
It happened everything in less than no time!
The view of Palazzo Orsini and Tiberina’s isle
I called on my sister Ala to tell her good bye, to the other side of the Tevere in her small house in Vicolo del Porto, crossing on foot the bridge over the Ile Tiberina that divided our two houses one from the other.
That was the last time I saw her alive.
Ala lived in a house with only two flats, under hers the flat of painter Marcello Crisi, that had given hospitality to Paul Getty Junior before his kidnapping while she was working in a tourist village in Capo Rizzuto, in Calabria .
My sister’s figure has been for me basic in my growth and in my development.
To her that, when I was a child, had begun as a theatre actress to play in a main character role with Vittorio Gassman in “A Martian in Rome” by Ennio Flaiano , to her I owe my mental opening and the basis of my intellectual consciousness.
Rehearsal at theatre: Ala and Vittorio Gassman
Friend of Dacia Maraini, Alberto Moravia, of the painters Franco Costa and Kantor she had initiate me to the reading giving me, from my earliest youth, every kind of book, well conscious of how the mind of a young girl would amplify thanks to the continuous readings, notions, and inputs that only a writer would have been able to transmit!
I loved her very much even if she thought the opposite because every time I entered in her house I transformed myself in a home helper, I began to tidy up, to clean in the kichen the piles of dishes and frying pans with the dirt of a week, in that way criticizing, in her opinion manifestly, her way of living.
Nothing of more false! I only wanted to be of help and being not able to compensate intellectually in any way I did it tiding up her house, cleaning it from the remains that, every evening, her friends of the roman intelligentsia left around.
Ala had had a story with a roman chansonnier, Freddie, and following him in his tour, she had written some texts, trying the way of song’s world too, that anguished, introspective by De Andrè or the more desecrating by Enzo Jannacci: “Can I come too? No, you not! But why not? Because not!”
Inside Villa Borghese Ala with her puppy Linka
On her it was fluttering the discouragement of a fate, the unhappiness of a life that couldn’t have been achieved as she’d has deserved. Born stateless, daughter of second world war’s persecutions, grown without a father’s presence and a family behind her, she had begun as a child to wander around in life looking for a home, a support that she had thought to find in front at that roman fireplace in her house, with her friends in an hour that was to her, on the contrary, fatal.
Our Mother Halina
My mother, too, reacted with sorrow to my ‘sudden’ start for he East although she too, was going away from Rome: she had won ‘unexpectedly’ a stay in Abano Terme, where she’d have remained, unaware of events, till my return… a week after my sister’s death.
These ‘sudden’ and ‘unexpected’ starts now provoke in me deep doubts.
My sister Ala, Halina Zalewska, died burnt in that flat at the first floor of Vicolo del Porto while I was in Afghanistan and my mother at Abano Terme. Ala, although she was gifted of great courage, when the fire invaded her small flat, she didn’t jumped down the three meters that separated her from the earth, from the safety, but she died stifled in the bath, where there was either a window, with her head near the toilet bowl.
My mother didn’t hear anything, nobody informed her…my sister’s father, Sigmund Zalewski, arrived form England, where he lived with his new family, only for the funeral… I learnt about it only after, when in London, coming back from Karachi, I went for lunch at San Lorenzo Restaurant and my friend Mara Berni informed me…Ten days had past…Sorrow has no words.
Ala’s photo published by the magazine Gente
It seemed to me to wander in the void with void inside, my blood was aching and I felt pain even in feeling it flowing in my veins.
It was then that I decided to cut off with everything, I didn’t want anyone near me anymore, I wanted only to stun that sensation, that feeling of guilt that I felt for not having prevented all that horror to happen. I felt me paralysed by impotence and I don’t know how I have lived, what I have done: I think I have drowsed me in that pain, I have tried in every manner to forget it.
Then, a day of September, Giorgio went away from my house.
I breathed again, I didn’t want him near me. I couldn’t give a reason but his presence was hostile to me.
One evening I went to bed with his best friend Danilo Moroni and at dawn, he, dressing himself again, told me:
“If I were you, Eli, I’d go away at once from here”
I didn’t take care to his words, that was for me a message of a danger by him searched and wanted.
Half an hour later the glass door of my small house was pulled down: Giorgio was coming in like a fury while his friend Danilo slipped away.
My good dog Già
There were kicks and fists…a slaughter, even my dog Già run away frightened in the little kitchen in the basement floor . A frantic look, stuffed with amphetamines that made that behaviour plausible to him, he trailed me to the upper floor to dispatch me. To inflict me the punishment I deserved for having betrayed him…
He trailed me by force in the bathroom to knock my head on the toilet bowl and cut it out, in a script already known in which somebody else had already lost her life, my sister. Other persons in different places but maker of the same pattern.
It was then that I looked at him with a glance full of ingenuity, full of love and I whispered him “I love you” and he, he stopped in his homicidal fury, he left me alive and run away.
My unconscious had saved me at the last moment, had given me a way of escape from death, that loophole that my sister couldn’t have invoked. I had saved my life thanks to a lie that had a background of truth.
It was true: I’d loved him as I have loved all the men that, even for short time, have made part of my life but I loved infinitely much more my sister therefore I despised him from the depth for something that he had done and of which I didn’t have full consciousness yet.
I let it pass on my skin, to understand and finally to condemn everybody’s responsibilities.
I wouldn’t have told it but facts would have spoken for themselves.
Giorgio had brought me far away, while my sister was dying…had he done it consciously or had he been only a pawn? Had anybody paid him to move me away from Rome? Did the friend know it and incited him to finish the work? Who was more responsible: who realized or who plotted behind the scenes?
I only knew to be alive, to have survived the cynicism and the brutality of mankind.
To have won life and to have now to live it far from all that horror even if, in the confusion in which I found myself I didn’t know how, where and with whom.
Then it came up terror for the assault suffered, I was afraid he came back…I called Carlo and I asked him shelter…
I arrived at him in a pitiful state, I stayed in his flat in Via Sistina without going to the Hospital or to sue my attacker only not to have to remember …I was completely covered with hematomas from the face to the waist, a black mask. Carlo was shocked, he couldn’t understand and I couldn’t explain.
I knew I was saved from a destiny to which my sister couldn’t have escaped and I felt me guilty for this, how much …. Nobody can never know.
I spent two days at Carlo’s and then, always escaping my persecutor and myself, I sheltered at my mother’s home that really needn’t see me, in that moment, in that condition.
But being mother to me she understood, she knew what I had done and why…it was the logical consequence to a sorrow that united us but about that was of no more use to speak.
Giorgio came to look for me in that house, I went down to talk to him: he wanted a child from me!
How human beings can be ill, self-centred., mad, I became aware of it in that occasion, opposite that man who had been ready to take my life and now was offering himself as my life mate, even the father of our child!
Mad, all mad, all insane without a possibility and will of recovery…
I came back to live in Palazzo Orsini, for a couple of evenings Giorgio waited for me, in the alley of entrance, hidden behind the carob trees. I was terrified.
It was Edoardo, older brother of Stefanino Almagià to put an end to my suffering: he faced him an evening and freed me from him forever. Giorgio was a vile and four sentences, told with a resolute voice, were enough to make him ceasing to reappear before me.
The sensation of void didn’t leave me, I didn’t know if it was a consequence of what had happened to me or the pain for my sister’s loss, I only know I felt sick. I felt an incontrollable sensation of absence from this earth as if nothing had importance anymore.
I think I hadn’t lived during that period, I should only have survived to it.
Of that tragedy it remain only the consciences of who knows and lives, with this sad knowledge, his life and, at every sunset, remembers how everything can be happened, with how much responsibility and with how much assent he has taken part to it… little thing the remorse, really… but it is the only feeling able to educate in order that abomination mustn’t happen anymore.
My sister never return anymore, nevertheless anything can pay the loss of her life.
Responsibility will weight on the heart of he who permitted that to happen.
In the Egyptian papyri , till the nineteenth Dynasty, “are made words” on what could happen at our start from this Earth : for the ancients in the sixty days after our death, while the proceedings of embalming proper to provide an eternal refuge to spirit occurred, this last splitted. It separated from soul.
Nefertari’s tomb : the ‘senet’
It sat with Nothing to play ‘senet’, a kind of chess, and so it waited, every evening, the return of its soul that, like a bird, had flied away to see the effects of the life just lost, of our last possibility of evolution.
Along all the sixty days soul came back at twilight to inform spirit of the consequences that its own life had left behind it. Only at the end of that period spirit could be sufficiently informed on facts and misdeeds of its own life and could face the balance of Maat : on a scale its own heart that could weight, to be justified, as the feather of Maat, symbol of truth, impartiality and order, lent on the other scale.
To be justified
If its heart, along its life, hadn’t accomplished the task of researching Maat’s values and had got heavier with behaviours unlike from it, then it couldn’t have been justified and have gone into the jaws of a monster that would have defecated it on the earth again.
What a worst end then being cancelled, transformed in excrement and repulsed back to begin again, as rubbish, with only a gleam of life inside?
Really I think it’s worth while erring, better searching the understanding of our own mistakes in life, for avoiding to face them when there is nothing more to do. To learn to forgive and to be forgiven, beginning to recognize the mistakes for what they are: dangerous falls to not repeat.