Sunday, September 27, 2009

Perché i patti erano quelli

«...Sí, insomma, prima di maritarsi uno bisogna che ci pensi sopra quattro volte, e prendersi una ragazza come quella, brava, poco da dire, ma furba come una strega, bene, non so se mi spiego. Ma neanche a metterci una pietra sopra e a non pensarci piú non sono buono. Ogni tanto vado dal mio direttore e mi faccio mandare in trasferta in quel paese, con la scusa delle revisioni. Una volta è piombata qui a Torino, in ferie, con addosso i blugins tutti stinti sui ginocchi, in compagnia di un ragazzo di quelli con la barba fino negli occhi, e me l'ha presentato senza fare una piega: e neanche io l'ho fatta, una piega; sentivo come una specie di bruciacuore, qui alla bocca dello stomaco, ma no le ho detto niente perché i patti erano quelli.»

[...Well, in short, before a man marries, he needs to think it over a lot, and taking a girl like that, a fine girl, no doubt about it, but clever as a witch, well, I don't know if I am making myself clear. But I can't put an end to it and I'm no good at not thinking about it anymore. Every now and then I go to my boss and get myself sent to that town, with the excuse of checking up on things. Once she showed up here in Turin, on vacation, wearing an old faded pair of blue jeans, cut off at the knees, in the company of a boy, one of those with a beard that comes up to his eyes, and she introduced him to me without even batting an eye and I didn't bat an eye either; I felt a kind of heartburn, here, at the top of my stomach, but I didn't say anything, because that was the bargain.]

--Primo Levi, The Monkey's Wrench

An old friend, with whom I have a complicated history, made an unexpected visit this weekend. I was surprised at how affected I was by her and how easily we fell into old ways. I suppose there are some people in one's life who simply cannot be resisted, no matter how much trouble that may have caused in the past and will likely bring to the future.

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