LIKE AN ISLAND IN THE SEA OF THE SKY
“I must have slept a long time” she said herself, blinking and looking at the green plain out of the window. Now the train was running through a wide green expanse. The crowns of the trees were so thick that she (you) had the feeling that the train was passing ( running) through a wood.
It was a summer afternoon, the sun had already set, but there was still a great light. In the sky, of a clear blue, the white, soft clouds were moving slowly, while the train passed quickly. And then, the sky, suddenly, it was the sky that began to move, swaying and bouncing. CIOF CIOF the train ran, BONC BONC the sky bounced, and at each bounce it descended, getting closer to the earth, to the vast expanse of green that the train was crossing. Esther, with her eyes glued to the window, as the train kept running, saw the great expanse of green passing , and the sky getting lower and lower. Then she seemed to hear a PLUMP!, but perhaps it was the CIOF CIOF of the train and, oh, the sky now was at the same level of the earth. The vast expanse of green was surrounded by the sky, which had descended to the ground ( earth). Now the sky was spreading around that very green land, which seemed like a green island in the middle of the sea. The island, and also the waters that surrounded it, was wrapped in a light, thin mist, almost diaphanous, interrupted here and there by a strong, radiating ( radiant) light. “Yes, but of course it must appear so ( it must look like this)”,____it came natural for her ( Esther) to think, “ since it is the sky which, after it descended to land (ground/ earth) became sea” And immediately after she realized the absurdity of what she had just thought. Yet the feeling of seeing the sky descend on the land ( ground) and become sea ( and turn into water) had been so strong that she couldn’t help but think that it really happened. Oh, but where was she then? Was also the train on which she was traveling on the island that had become the landscape she saw from the window ( of the train)? Esther roused herself, as if coming out of a dream or a doze, when she heard the announcement of the next station at which the train would stop. Vinci was the next stop , that’s where she had to get off . After a last glance from the window___and the island was still there, surrounded by the sea ( from which she continued to see the island surrounded by the sea) she ( Esther) walked towards the exit door. The train hadn’t entered the station yet , when she, suddenly, realized that she …couldn’t remember why she was going to Vinci. Yet she had woken up very early to come to the station on time, it meant that she had decided, she wanted to go to…Vinci. But now she couldn’t remember WHY.
“ Ah, how many of these damned, gossipy ( gossiping) people there are…They’re mostly women, eh, those nasty curious, terribly gossiping, indeed big terrible slanders ( backbiters), who come to put their dirt nose in the quiet, peaceful, harmonious life of our beautiful town, to create confusion, turmoil, to put weeds, those, the bad, ugly witches!” Esther heard a grim voice saying ( speaking) behind her, while the train, already entered the station, was making its rounds ( was turning and turning again), slowing down before stopping at the established platform. She, all worried as she was, since she couldn’t remember why she had decided to come to Vinci, did not pay attention to what someone was saying angrily, in a heavy, dark voice, behind her. She did not even turn back to see whose that dark ( grim), even threatening voice was. But, as soon as Esther got off the train, and she kept being in turmoil, wondering and wondering again….” Oh, but why I decided to come here, in Vinci.?” ( she) felt a tap on her elbow, and it seemed given (to be given) by someone deliberately, not by accident, as that dark, harsh voice, she had heard before on the train, continued to rail very angrily against the damned race of the women, those bad , ugly meddlers, and gossiping, those terrible slanderers ! “ Oh, what this one ( guy) does want?” she wondered, and turned her head back. He, the man who kept railing against the bad, damned race of the women , was almost old, with smoothed white hair , elegantly dressed , with a touch of casual. In fact he wore trousers with impeccable creases but a sporty blouse instead of a jacket. He appeared as a distinguished gentleman, as her grandmother and her mother too would have said, to mean that he was probably a remarkable person ( man), not a poor fellow. When Esther turned her head to see him ( to look at him) it seemed to her that the elegantly dressed old man was giving her a dark look, even with something of a heavy reproach. But she didn’t care and walked down the platform, to get out of the station. “ These bad, damned gossipers! Eh, with the excuse they write on the newspapers, eh, that they had to do a report for this or that television of shit, eh, here , they arrive here and start to stick their filthy noses everywhere, to create disagreements , conflicts in our peaceful , beloved town, these forked-tongued toads! And how much they like to talk badly of our wonderful town, to slander our beloved town ! Which is a town of very good people, not of serial killers and monsters!” The man, that distinguished gentleman, yes, had started screaming. ( was screaming).
And the old man, with his appearance of an elegant, impeccable gentleman, had kept screaming his invectives against the bad, damned race of the women, louder and louder. The people who crowded the station for the most part, even when they were or passed near to him, just shook their heads and smiled, or even giggled. But there were also those who tried to talk with him, asking the old man, why he was so much angry against the women. He, the old gentleman seemed to get angrier and angrier with every word that was said to him.
Now Esther had passed on, leaving behind her that singular old man. While she kept wondering , more and more anguished : “ And now…where will I go? Yet I came here, to Vinci for… something, of this I’m sure…But why I cannot remember what or…whom I came for?”, she heard that angry old man shout more terribly than ever : “ Like that wretch over there! A slanderer like that there!”, and she had the feeling that the angry old man was railing against her, that he was taking it out on her. Oh, but he is a complete stranger to me, she said herself, and (she) walked out of the station, still with that tormenting worry of not being able to remember what she had come to do to Vinci ( why she had come to Vinci)
Esther had soon come out of the station when she saw a middle-aged woman who was moving towards her, waving her hand in a gesture of greeting and saying “ Esther! Esther!” as if she was calling right her. But that woman was a perfect stranger to her. Oh, but it was not certainly only she who was called …Esther, but sure that unknown woman was calling someone else (with the same name as hers). Then, a little after, when Esther was about to cross the street, that woman reached her , and she also grabbed a nape of her ( Esther’s) Jacket . as she kept saying her name : “ Esther! Esther! But what is happening, eh? WHY are you pretending not to see me, eh? “ She, Esther, felt her blood run cold in her veins. It was about to come out of her mouth: “ But I’m not pretending not to see you, I just do not know you!” “ Ah, I bet that you had come here, in Vinci secretly from your mother who thinks that you went ( had gone) to work, and instead you took the train and came here!” That woman kept talking, all cheerful and smiling. “ Ah, don’t worry! I will not tell your mother that I saw you here!” Esther, incredulous and dismayed, stood to listen to that unknown woman who kept asking her about her mother, her grandmother, her aunt Antoniette…and then started saying that, oh, she knew, her mother had told her that she did not like her job, that she did not get along, in agreement with her colleagues…eh, she knew , her mother always talked to her about it. “ Oh, my God! But who is this woman? I don’t know her!” Esther kept repeating herself, and immediately after she could not help wondering : “ But it will not be that instead that I know her, but I don’t remember of her? Just like I don’t remember WHY I came to Vinci.
At sudden Esther, who stood in front of the unknown woman, saw a running train coming out of the station and pointing right at there, at the sidewalk, where she and the unknown woman were. “ Help! Help!” she screamed. “ Come on, what do you have to ask for help? You won’t be afraid of me, will you?” the woman said, all smiling and joyful. “ That…the train…is coming on us…” Esther said, stammering. And here that, instead of the train, the old elegant gentleman, whom she had heard rant against the damned gossiping, meddlesome women, arrived. “ Oh, welcome Osvald! What a pleasure to see you” The unknown woman said. “ Look that instead , I don’t like at all to find you in the company of this one!”The man, whose name was Osvald, said, pointing his stick straight at Esther. “This one is the most damned bad nosy on the earth! This one is the most slanderer in the world!” Osvald screamed, and he signed his sentences by tapping the tip of his stick on Esther’s stomach. “ This very bad woman! You don’t know what this witch was claiming!” The elegant old man yelled. “This one, eh, this ugly slut claims that the serial killer of the prostitutes who have been stabbed here in the city for years, he is our mayor!”