DIVINAZIONE

di NELSON STANLEY

traduzione di Stefano Paparozzi

Mia madre poteva farlo con le macchie di Rorschach delle foglie di te, o con la mappa della metro dei tuoi palmi, o con i nodi che si formavano su un laccio. Lo poteva fare con le schegge di colore ai bordi delle tue iridi: ti stringeva le mani nelle sue, indurite dal lavoro, e gettava indietro la testa socchiudendo gli occhi per scrutarti a fondo nell’anima.

Poteva farlo con le carte, se proprio doveva, se ti riteneva il tipo da farsi colpire da certe scene: erano normali carte da gioco. Preferiva il mazzo ingiallito che aveva ereditato da sua nonna, che doveva essere stato stampato più o meno all’inizio del diciannovesimo secolo (unto al tatto, logorato ai bordi, quando non lo usava era avvolto in un ritaglio polveroso di seta nera mangiata dai tarli), ma so per certo che poteva farlo con qualsiasi cosa fatta di cartoncino e divisa in semi, avendola vista farlo con un mazzo di carte “pneumatiche” con la pubblicità dei Ferry P&O sul retro, un souvenir di una visita a qualche parente lontano nel 1912.

Faceva anche altre cose, per non farci morire di fame: l’ambulante, vendendo porta a porta erica, merletti o mollette che costruiva come una volta, col legno di nocciolo, una tacca sul retro e un piccolo nastro di stagno tagliato da una vecchia lattina stretto in cima.

Diceva ai gadjé1 che i merletti li facevamo noi, ma in realtà li acquistava al metro in un posticino a East Ham. Era troppo goffa per fabbricare i crisantemi di legno come sua sorella, o i fiori di carta igienica, ligustro e vernice argentata che i suoi cugini sfornavano a decine: le sue mollette cadevano a pezzi così velocemente che non poteva mai tornare due volte nello stesso posto, e il merletto lo vendeva più corto, novanta centimetri per un metro.

Era troppo orgogliosa per fare quello che facevano i nostri parenti nel Kennick e mettersi a pulire pavimenti e lavare scale, e inoltre i gadjé non l’avrebbero mai fatta entrare in casa, nel terrore che facesse sparire l’argenteria da tavola o i bambini dalle culle. Quel che poteva fare, però, era divinare meglio di chiunque altro, intrecciare sentieri di speranze e sogni in una linea della vita che si ancorava così solidamente da qualche parte nel futuro da riuscire a trascinartici incontro, mano nella mano al di sopra del terribile sbadiglio dell’abisso delle possibilità.

Ma erano tutte bugie. Devi tenerlo bene a mente. Trucchi e bugie.

1Gadjé = i non romaní.

Continua su Il Buio, numero 3

Nelson Stanley lavora in una biblioteca universitaria nelle campagne della Cornovaglia, nel Regno Unito. Suoi racconti compaiono in antologie e riviste quali THCock, Black Dandy, The Gallery of Curiosities, The Sockdolager e Tough Crime. Un suo racconto compare nell’antologia Extended Play, vincitrice del British Fantasy Award.

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