Photo: @frafrig / Instagram
The woman walks slowly along the lake shore. The mountain breeze and her sharp profile make her look like a small seagull. One of those with its beak to the wind and its eyes closed, for protection against the strength of the cold air.
She advances with a bundle in her arms, looking at the horizon, over the trail she knows by heart made of whitewashed beaches and small pebbles. Every morning, summer and winter, she comes down to the shore and plunges in. To meet him again.
Even if by now her joints howl like north wind against shrouds.
Today, as always, she reaches the chosen spot and gets ready. She drops her clothes with charm and smiles. She likes to slide a little every day. Either east or west. To surprise and amaze him. To look for him and hide, give herself up and then withdraw, to scratch him and finally unite. And to become once again that lost seaweed and water girl he had tracked down the folds of her skin.
Her morning swims started by chance. On the day when pain had won over her, soaking her up like a sponge.
She had run down the steps in the alley and launched herself blindly towards the lake. One last time, she thought, to disappear the same way as he had.
But it did not happen. Solid resin like waves and foam light with butterflies held her soaked clothes up and pulled her rapidly along the shore. And while she cried out his name and his absence, clear fingers caressed her hair.
Mysterious creatures from the depth softly sang an old lullaby and a feathery swing and a throne made of bark emerged from the bottom of the lake and she grabbed them.
Ninna oh, ninna oh questa bimba a chi la do?...
And it was no longer necessary to bang her head against the wall. There was no need to lose herself to find him. Because from the open water, while the current pushed her playfully from bay to bay, his smell reached her. Distinct and sharp.
Unmistakable. That smell of yeast and saltpeter of his chest, against which she had crashed an infinite number of nights.
The resin-like waves, the transparent caresses, the playful drift were his fingers, his breath, and the acceleration of his heartbeat.
Her love is still here, and this woman, for 43 years, every morning goes down to meet him. In the waters of Lake Como.