THE UMBRELLA MAN
When he had arrived in their city, almost twenty years ago____and he had been an illegal immigrant for a long time, without a residence permit_____Vassilli had sold umbrellas in the streets, stationing ( stationed) at traffic lights, at bus stops, but also at the exit of cinemas, theaters, schools, since it always happened that more than some people were outside without an umbrella, when it suddenly started to rain. Probably the rumor that Vassilli made it rain had originated from there, from him who for some time had been a street vendor of umbrellas.
Indeed the first regular job he had found had been in a laundry, and this had strengthened the belief , and the related rumor, that Vassilli made it rain. “ Eh, just the right job for him. They can be sure that in the Starlet laundry they will never run out of water” People said, giggling. But that Vassilli made it rain they continued to say, and even to believe it_____even if those who believed he was really capable to make it rain were certainly fewer than those who talked about it_____even when Vassilli was hired as a clerk in a great supermarket. There were then also people who claimed that the almost strange guy had made it rain inside the supermarket too! Yes, and precisely on the fish counter! They even told that the fish on sale there, at the supermarket counter, had taken on a fresher look, like freshly caught fish under the gushing water which Vassilli had made poured on them . And there had even been those who had told, enthusiastic , trilled, that __oh, incredible! Oh , magic!____that the fish there for sale, ready to be cooked, had started to move under the roar of the rain! Yes, those fish had come back alive! . Oh, but to this, that the rain dropped by Vassilli ( made to spring from V.) was even able to resurrect the fish, no one could believe. Come on then this man , ah, he was a …Tartar…he had come from…Azerbaigian…..then he would have been capable not only of making it rain, but also of performing ( making) miracles? People asked incredulous, shaking their head. “ Beh, and what would be surprising if Vassilli, in addition to making it rain, was ( were) also capable of doing other miracles? Or other magic?” So those , few in truth, who seemed to believe in…..the miraculous, that is resurrecting rain of Vassilli, replied piquet. Why in fact being able to make it rain, was it perhaps a miracle, or a magic? He,, Vassilli didn’t seem to care about his reputation of raining man. One wondered, among the people who knew him, especially among his neighbors and among his work colleagues , if the Tartar, as he was also called, was aware of the ability, undoubted more unique than rare, that he had. Those who believed that Vassilli was perfectly aware of his extraordinary gift, who were the most, could not help but wonder also , consequently, if Vassilli was able to make it rain when and where he wanted , or if instead he could not decide when and where to make it rain , and , so to speak, the rain…. slipped out of his hands. On this matter too opinions were divided. But of course, and how if (as if) Vassilli was able to decide WHEN and WHERE to start the rain, some argued. And they brought for example the rain he had dropped on the fish in the supermarket . Oh, they were keen to point out : he hadn’t it rained all over the supermarket but precisely only on the fish counter. Ah, the others replied, indeed it had happened that Vassilli had stopped at the fish counter and the rain had started to fall spontaneously, without his wanting it. Among other things they pointed out that rain on the fish had not been appreciated in the supermarket, In fact Vassilli had been fined as well as threatened with dismissal if he again made it rain inside the supermarket.
Then the people who thought him capable of making it rain, began to wonder if Vassilli could also , as well as starting the rain, making it stop raining. They thought about it above all since they were very worried while waiting for the long rains between the end of Autumn and the beginning of Winter, which caused considerable inconveniences , often with floods too.
Some of them, the most daring, decided to talk about it directly with Vassilli. Since he was undoubtedly a raining man, everyone knew it, here, could not he do something to prevent the floods that usually occurred in the month of November? That is, since those disastrous floods were primarily a consequence of the abundant rain that continued uninterrupted for days and days, couldn’t he even make it stop raining? He, vassilli, at first scoffed. But on, they were the others who were convinced he was capable to make it rain. He, instead, was not convinced of it. Oh, he did not think he was able to command the weather. But they had insisted and insisted again. On, everyone knew he was really ( truly) a raining man. Come on, it was not the case he was sorry about ( of) it, since his was a great gift, more unique than rare! Come on, indeed , according to them, he , Vassilli was the biggest raining man in the world! That is, the most powerful raining man, the one who had rhe greatest, strongest power over the rain. So, come on, a raining man of his magnitude had to be able to do something to help them ward off the scourge of the floods.
Come on, if he was able to start raining, he also had to be able to stop raining, they kept on saying. He, Vassilli, all enraptured for their appreciation, for their praise, ended up admitting that, yes, he was really a raining man, Ah, he indeed had been (such) one since he was a little boy, when his grandmother always said, looking at him with an absorbed, inspired air : “ Oh, I can see…., oh, my little Vassilli, yes, he has the extraordinary gift to kick off the rain”, and then she, raised her eyes up to the sky, sighing. Her grandmother said that she could read in his eyes this extraordinary gift. Vassilli then, as a child, did not believe it, he did not even understand what his grandmother was saying. Ah, but now he had to recognize ( that) his Grandma had seen (foreseen) right! So the Tartar ended up admitting, and he even blushed . while he was admitting, indeed confessing it, as if he was very excited, and also somewhat embarrassed to make his ( this) admission. Oh, yes, he knew he was a raining man, and before him , in distant years, when he was a child, there had been his grandmother who had already known, who had foreseen that he would be a raining man. Ah, sure that he was able of making it ran where and when he wanted , Vassilli assured. Then he started, laughing, to tell about the rain on the fish inside the supermarket. Oh, how much he had enjoyed ! There was a lot of people for the shopping in the supermarket, who, oh, how they were astonished, even terrified! He could still see their squinting eyes, their open mouths in front of the rain falling on the fish, there on the counter, ready for sale! Oh, they, since those fish, which were undoubtedly dead, moved under the rain, ( because they were hit by the rain), they, the shopping people, had even believed that the dead , and also gutted fish, were coming back alive! Yes, that they were resurrecting!
Unfortunately, Vassiili said, when he finished to tell how much he had enjoyed with his rain on the fish displayed on sale at the supermarket, unfortunately he, who managed very well to make it rain, was not able to stop raining. Oh, come on, it is not possible they protested, those who had looked for him ( were looking for him) precisely for this matter, since they thought he was able to stop the rain of days and days , which always caused floods. Oh, they bet he, Vassilli, had never tried to stop the rain, wasn’t that so? Vassilli had to admit that in fact he had never even thought of making it stop rain. Well, those insisted, they were sure that if he tried, he would be able to stop the rain. Ah, try…but how? He didn’t have the slightest idea about what he could do to stop the rain. So Vassilli kept on repeating , shaking his head disconsolately. “ But how? “ those others insisted “ Will there also be some gesture you make, some word or password you use to make it rain. Here….to stop the rain you had to do the opposite of what you do to make it rain. “ They said him. Vassilli made no gesture, he did not say any word to start the rain. It was enough for him to imagine himself, as if he saw himself, while he was opening an umbrella, and it always started to rain. Then he tried to imagine himself, to visualize himself in the gesture of closing an umbrella. Ir was not easy for him to succeed in seeing himself while he was closing an umbrella. He had to concentrate for a long time to succeeded in it. But finally he was able to see himself as he was closing an umbrella, and so , recalling this imagine, he became also capable to stop the rain.