Today is my day. As a kid it was always a bit of a special day. My name is not common, in Rome I met a girl with my name, in my own town I only knew my grandfather with the same name. If I were still living on the island, if my beloved grandfather would be alive, I’d be going to visit him. He lived in his family house, a fancy ancient building with paintings on the vaults, always perfectly clean and tidy. It was always so warm in there! I was raised in a huge old house myself, we also have vault ceilings there, and even when we put the heatings at the maximum, it was never enough in winter. My grandfather would be dressed elegantly, he was always elegant, also if he was just staying at home, also when he could barely stand and he was next to die, he would never use his hands to eat, he couldn’t act differently.
He would be wearing a dressing gown. We would kiss then he would make a half bow and he’d say “illustrious!”. I adored him. I was never bored with him. In my hometown nobody really celebrates name-days, but my grandparents came from another town. They were both born in this minuscule town, to visit it is really fascinating, full of palaces, they had a number of nobles families there, I’ve seen some of these palaces from the inside, they are incredible, private gardens, living rooms one after the other, gold. If you want to make my grandmother happy, ask her where is she from. She would tell you about the dance parties and the palaces, during the war they hid in the country houses, which were again little palaces, actually my great-uncle owns part of the original property and it includes a chapel. If you ask my grandfather about that village, he would say they are just ignorant people, living in these decaying houses (nobody works, that would be vulgar!), he couldn’t stand it. My grandfather was a teacher of italian, latin, greek. I also studied those, like my mother. My grandfather often regrettet one thing. He was sent to a boarding school, it was common when you were coming from a good family. My grandparents sent my uncle to a boarding school. I guess they did it because he was an unbearable kid to deal with. My grandfather often regrettet this choice.
Let’s go back. In my hometown nobody would care about name-days but in the town were my grandparents were born it was celebrated more than the birthday, so we were used to “celebrate” it as well at home. I even forgot it this year, my sweet mom remembered me. I attach the picture of a rose I killed when my grandfather died. They were living in the summer house, when he died. As I was getting in, I felt my stomach breaking. I stepped back and as I was sure nobody would see me, I entered from a second door, nobody knows about that, then I would find myself in a terrace behind the kitchen. I sat there, there’s a table with two chairs, we kids would eat there in summer. One of my uncles saw me and sent my grandmother. It should have been me going there, to her, but I was broke inside. This is our day and it would have been really funny to phone you and tell you about my life in Berlin. You would have told me about history and about places I should absolutely visit.