Trains

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Roma, cimitero acattolico

Roma, cimitero acattolico

di giuliomozzi
traduzione di Elizabeth Harris

[Questa traduzione del mio racconto Treni, da Questo è il giardino, è apparsa nel sito del Center for the Art of Translation. This is the Garden sarà pubblicato negli Usa da Open Letter BooksThis nei primi mesi del 2014. La fotografia qui sopra viene da qui. gm]

When the train slips away, Mario feels he’s leaving this world, the same sensation he has on sleepless nights, when he’s been tossing and turning, and then, exhausted, his thoughts turn away from wanting sleep, and he’s suddenly sleeping. This hard-won sleep’s a dreamless sleep, or to be more precise, it’s a sleep with dreams he can’t remember. To Mario, the dreams you can’t remember are the most important kind—they protect your vital secrets. On those nights when sleep won’t come, not even with television’s boredom or with a little liquor, Mario thinks his body (this same body that spares him from remembering his dreams the following morning) somehow knows there are difficult dreams ahead, dreams that need to be forgotten: and his body’s afraid, and rightly so. This particular moment, right when the train’s leaving, brings on a physical response, a pressure at the temples, a stiff neck. Sometimes he can read or sleep on the train; other times, he gets a headache. Mario doesn’t think these headaches simply develop on their own; there’s always a cause, some specific behavior: too much work, one drink too many, too little sleep. Mario’s convinced he does something automatic that leads to a headache. A headache on the train, and all the way to Rome, means hours constrained to thinking without the hope of sleep or distraction. Of all the things that could happen, Mario can’t imagine anything more painful than this forced company.

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