VOGUE (Italy) - - CULTURE - By Die­go De Sil­va L’uo­mo, Die­go De Sil­va was born in Na­ples in 1964. All of his books ( Di­vor­zia­re con sti­le, 2017, i s the l ast one) ha­ve been pu­bli­shed in Ita­ly by Ei­nau­di.

the man, shif­ti­ly en­te­red the church. Scan­ning the sur­roun­dings as he dip­ped his fin­ger­tips in the font, he re­gi­ste­red ano­ther hu­man pre­sen­ce as an in­va­sion of his pri­va­cy: an old la­dy sit­ting at the end of a pew in the front row, pray­ing her Ro­sa­ry.

“What a drag,” he mut­te­red. Then he knit­ted his fin­gers and be­gan his lit­tle pre-pre­pa­red spee­ch.

“Lord, I know we haven’t seen ea­ch other for ages, but I’ve ne­ver been a fan of com­pul­so­ry at­ten­dan­ce. I mean, peo­ple can meet oc­ca­sio­nal­ly on the off chan­ce and still ha­ve a pro­found at­ta­ch­ment, right? That’s why I’m con­fi­dent You’ll re­mem­ber me. Ju­st like I know You’re the­re. But the thing is, I no lon­ger know whe­re You are.You see, I can’t find you any­mo­re. Will You tell me what it is I’ve do­ne to You? Is it that You don’t like me? Ju­st so I know. At lea­st I can put my mind at ea­se.

Ha­ving fi­ni­shed his screw­ball rant, he shut his eyes and took a deep brea­th to re­co­ver from the ra­cing heart­beat that his ti­ra­de had in­du­ced. It took him a whi­le to rea­li­se that the voi­ce spea­king to him was r ight by his ear.

“You mu­st be a bit of a mo­ron, kid­do,” said the la­dy who had been sit­ting in the front row a mo­ment be­fo­re.

“Ex­cu­se me?” he asked ope­ning his eyes.

“For­get about me ex­cu­sing you,” she re­plied, “You’re ru­de. You show up in my of­fi­ce wi­thout an ap­point­ment, de­man­ding ex­pla­na­tions about what I do and whe­re I am. You think I’m at your di­spo­sal, huh?”

The man rub­bed his eyes and pee­red at the old wo­man again, as if ex­pec­ting to see her dif­fe­ren­tly. But in­stead he saw a la­dy with thin­ning hair and skin mar­ked by age, spea­king to him in her v oi­ce.

“So You would be...”

“Ooh, you’re so in­tui­ti­ve.”

“Oh, my God.”

“Tut-tut,” she said wag­ging her in­dex fin­ger, “you’re na­ming in vain, bud­dy. “I don’t be­lie­ve it.”

“What’s that, sor­ry?”

“No, I meant… it’s in­cre­di­ble.”

“What a di­sco­ve­ry for you. It’s in­cre­di­ble, so what? That’s pre­ci­se­ly the point.” “Hey, that’s how it is. It ne­ver oc­cur­red to me.”

“It’s be­cau­se you’re mis­sing the ba­sics. Now how about you scoot out of he­re and let me work.”

“What man­ners.”

“Re­mem­ber one thing. Re­la­tion­ships mu­st be cul­ti­va­ted.”

“I’ll ma­ke a no­te of that.”

“Don’t try to be fun­ny.”

“I was ser ious.”

“Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll get back to ac­com­pa­ny­ing the la­dy with her Ro­sa­ry, sin­ce you in­ter­rup­ted her.”

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