I was walking along the river around midday. I wasn't hungry. Everything was sad. A cold and damp wind was blowing from some invisible mountain, and the grey clouds, pregnant with rain, were quickly approaching. From a distance I saw a man wearing a green coat rummaging in the garbage that covered most of the area surrounding the river, as if he were looking for something. When I approached him and he, hearing the noise of my steps, turned around, I saw an interesting face kind of tainted by pain, but that pain was also the essential part of his expression, if you know what I mean. He was younger than I had expected. His hair was black and long, tied up in a pony tail. I asked him what he was looking for, just out of boredom.
"Flowers!" he said, "and I can't find any."
"But it's not the right season!" I told him, smiling.
"There are many flowers," he said "in my garden there are roses and honeysuckles of two types. one, my dad gave to me! They grow so quickly...but I've been looking for them for two days already and I can't find them. Even out here there's always flowers, yellow, blue and red, but I can't find any."
I realised there was something weird about him (!!) so I tried to take control of the conversation.
"But, what do you want to do with the flowers?" I asked him.
He smiled in a weird way and said "if you promise you're not gonna tell anybody, I'll tell you that I promised I'm going to give a bouquet to my girlfriend!"
"That's nice" I said.
"Oh, she's got everything she wants" he said, "she's rich!"
and I was like "And yet I'm sure some flowers will be a nice surprise"
"Yeah but she's got jewels and a crown!" he carried on
"And what's her name?" I asked
But he just continued "if I could get some money myself I would be a different person...I used to be well-off once...but now everything's finished for me! Now I am..." and he looked like he was gonna cry or something.
"So, you were happy once?" I asked
"Hell yes! I wish I were as I used to be! I used to be happy all the time, as light as a feather..."
"Henry!" an old woman (who suddenly appeared) yelled. "Where the hell have you been? I've been lookin for you for hours! Come eat!"
"Is he your son?" I asked her.
"Yes, he sure is my son...God gave me a heavy cross to carry..."
"How long has he been like this, if I can ask?"
"This quiet, for a few months...and thank God he is like this now! Before, for a whole year, he was a nightmare, we had to tie him up sometimes. Now he is fine, only, he's always making up stories about kings and emperors. He was such a good boy and he used to write so well...Then suddenly everything went dark for him. He became ill, and then angry. Now he is as you've seen him. If I had to start telling you the story from the beginning..."
I stopped her flow of words to ask her "What period was it then the one he describes as being a happy one?"
"Poor him..." she sighed with a sad smile "He means the time when he was out of his mind. He's always talking about it as the best time, when he was locked up and he didn't understand anything at all!"
These words made me feel sort of ,dunno, weird. But it was enough to decide to leave them.
"So, he was happy" I was then thinking. "Human beings are then doomed to be perfectly happy only when they haven't acquired reason yet, and when they lose it! And now he is unhappy...and yet, I envy his melancholy and his spiritual turmoil. You go out full of hopes looking for flowers to give to your queen, in the winter! And you get depressed because you can't find any and you don't understand why that is. I, on the other hand, go out with no hope at all and with no goal at all, and I come home exactly the same way. You talk enthusiastically about the kind of man you could be if you had money. You are lucky, because you can attribute your unhappiness to a real obstacle. You don't feel that your sadness lies in your broken heart, in your fucked up brain, and that against that no king on earth could fight."
Anyone who laughs at an ill person who makes an effort to go a step further, who has some sort of goal despite everything, should die suffering. Each step that allows that person to walk a still unknown path is a little bit of hope gained.
And you think you can call this an illusion? You lazy bastards!! Illusion! What is there left if not Faith, faith in anything, (which is faith in God coz God really can be anything, don't you think?)
The belief that the extract of a root can heal, that a dream will come true, what is it if not some sort of power that surrounds everything and heals everything and comforts us?
Father, I don't know you, and now I feel you have turned away from me. Call me! Stop being so silent! Are you going to be angry if I come to you? Don't be angry if I stopped walking...the world is the same everywhere, in suffering and joy. But I only want to suffer or cheer where you are, in front of you.
And you, do you want to chase me away?