"One day from my country I left, an immigrant in a foreign land, I went, my mother cried and my wife left and a son more beautiful than the newborn sun".
7 August 1991, Durres - Albania
A lonely tear falls to wet my swollen cheeks and marked by deep scars.
A flame of suffering burns my heart.
A wind of hope blows towards "Vlora".
Around me a crowd of a thousand voices, full of dreams, waiting to get on board and conquer another piece of the world with their eyes, catch the first place with their eyes, they all want to enter first, set sail and sail, stay on the podium damp with saltiness and to stop too deep, still distant moments of water and earth.
My land is bitter.
My land, adored, seriously ill by the communist regime.
My land is bitter.
Forty-six years of dictatorship have annihilated your soul.
My land is bitter.
Goodbye Albania, I leave you with the promise of a sweet return home!
The ship is an animal of iron, sheets and propellers work together to stay afloat, they huddle at court and they roar bored in that port that is little stuff, because the sea is the real victory. The time has come, let's go up, wave a little, then get used to it, sit on the bow and on the ropes.
The air around does not yet exist, the infernal heat has already invaded every small space destined for the wind, we are still and inside a boat loaded with people who today will not die at sea. There are no marine cemeteries for us, no one will send us back. Nobody. Cigarette smoke works together with what it puffs from the ship's ducts, shakes, but without success remains buried in the woolly atmosphere.
A jarring whistle interrupts thoughts, the signal arrives, we can fall into the sea. The same ropes that balanced the balance are now sucked like spaghetti into the mouth, there is no connection with the earth, now it lets us go, it no longer wants to speak. The ferrous animal picks up speed, the sky seems to move, a moving painting stands still on the other side of the world and narrows, thins, but does not fade. The city is a spit of tones, God from this distance seems to have colored with his heart.
Sapore di mare
In the middle of the sea you are nobody, you are safe inside the animal, but for the sea you remain a hard rock on which to beat your salted clothes and the stories of the men who did not make it. Right in the middle you are a point without any words, you are the pause of the bottom, the highest place in the world and time.
The sea, even if you cross it, does not conquer it.
The sea has ancient memories, but not even a wrinkle.
Albania has now disappeared and with her also the smiles of mothers who try to console their innocent children, promising that soon everything will end, tell a fairy tale that not even they believe anymore. Let's go to Italy they say that there is good, in a democracy.
Italy is just a black dot on the horizon. I raise my arms to the sky and, without fearing the fury of the rays, I open my mouth. I blow with my miserable lungs and ask God for a truce, a light dance of wind. But the sun enters my throat and sucks every drop of water to dry my lips.
Suspended in front of a blue carpet, sea and sky. No life forms in this desert of water. The land of salvation is still far away and the old homeland has long since disappeared.
At the Port of Brindisi
We are at the port of Brindisi. We can't land. The deputy prefect Pezzuto convinced the commander to go to Bari.
Still 7 hours, us and the sea. The sun beats too hard. In the silence that my mind manages to create, I see before me, clear, my mother's dull face. I see his eyes filling with tears until one of them slowly falls on his soft profile, tracing a furrow that reveals his soul.
He continues to stare at me with his black eyes, black as his thoughts, black as his heart-rending screams the days when my father was accused of treason against the regime. My father made a bad end of it. At a certain point my mother's voice, which so closely resembles those of the mothers who are beside me, urges me to resist, whispering to me that my life will only begin after having touched the mainland with my foreign foot.
Without even realizing it, time has passed. The ship enters the port of Bari. I throw myself out of the still sailing ship and swim to the quay trying to escape the controls.
An indescribable feeling of freedom clouded my brain.
But as you know it's not forever.
Not until men learn to live like brothers and sisters.