Theme: Yes, AND…
While singing, the image of a woman began to form in front of Drucilla’s closed eyes. A young woman, not exactly beautiful, but somehow breathtaking. A person you want to look at. A person you have the urge to talk to. Be with. Be touched by. At least get a glimpse of attention.
Drucilla did not know whom she pictured, but her heart was flooded with warmth. The exact memory of that woman, her mother, was long gone. Her name, her stories. But the sound of her voice, the sound of her laughing hijacked Drucilla’s emotions. The distant memory of her mother made her feel protected and beloved. While singing, she did not see the audience in front of her. Neither did she hear her own voice. Her own singing let her forget that she had forgotten. And suddenly, up on that stage under the spotlight, a flurry of distant memories came fluttering back to her.
Una povera ragazza,
padre e madre che non ha,
si maltratta, si strapazza…
questa è troppa crudeltà.
Drucilla grew up on the streets of Berlin in the infancy of the new millennium, with a typically Italian father, Paolo, who loved to sing, and a mother, Marlene, so untypically German – she only knew rules in order to break them. In those early years of Berlin as the German capital, living was still cheap. The food was mostly Turkish, thanks to the immigration flood in the ‘50s; the people revitalizing the city were artists and libertines, who did not mind living in the beat-up buildings that were recklessly neglected throughout the dictatorships of the dead and almost-forgotten century.
Paolo and Marlene met at the Mauerpark on a sunny Sunday morning. A place where the Wall had once divided a people, now used on Sundays for flea markets and karaoke singing.
Paolo had been partying all night at one of the countless underground techno clubs and was so filled with drugs he was too driven to even think about sleeping. Paolo loved singing and was one of the first singers on the karaoke stage. The sun was burning, and the audience exemplified the relaxed Berlin hipster mood. Young, fashionable, drinking “Bionade”, and desperately trying not to appear cool. Marlene was in the audience. Smoking pot and enjoying her first weekend after a marathon of exams and assignments at Humboldt University of Berlin. She was studying to be an ethnologist and dreamed about living in Indonesia or Bangladesh. Her plans were all set up. She did not know that hearing Paolo’s voice would change everything, and that only nine months later she would be the mother of twins by this man on stage singing the most moving Italian song before collapsing.
Overheated and dehydrated by the sun, Paolo had only sung for three minutes before he saw first stars and then pure darkness. He hit his head hard, but awoke to a splash of water in his face and the most divine being. A woman not exactly beautiful, but somehow breathtaking. A person he wanted to look at. Had the deepest urge to talk to. Be with. Be touched by. He did not know her story or her name. But his heart was flooded with warmth.