It’s strange. Whenever I return from any trip lasting longer than a few days, my home shifts. I walk in, tired after being shaken by one plane, two buses and a train, I drag the backpack, cabin trolley and duty free purchases across my threshold and… the ceiling feels somewhat higher. The living room smells different, the plants are a bit wilder, and I find myself being a bit scared of what I’ll see under the toilet’s lid. In the fridge there is a bunch of lemons cuddled in a fluff of absinthe-colored mold. It’s almost as if my home wants to warn me that time passes even when I’m not around and that things can happen in the emptiness. And the time I did not spend in these four walls, these two weeks I’ve been away, I didn’t freeze-frame them, they are gone. I chose to be elsewhere, the loss is mine.
At the beginning of the Seventies my parents bought a villa by the sea on the Italian island of Sardinia. It was one of those low white buildings you see on Mediterranean postcards, with a flat roof which served as a terrace, enclosed in a cocoon of raving bougainvillea. For the entirety of our childhood, every single summer, my mother and the three of us moved to that house from the early days of June till about a week into September. It was a raw paradise of rocks and secret beaches, everything was Continue reading