the 15th contribute

April 14th, 2020

When I was asked to write a text about these days, so fluctuating and unnatural, belonging to a sinister time, never before known, I thought about what I could say, for a long time. It seemed reductive and limiting to me to think I could represent all this only with my own voice. So what follows is a text of fragments cut and sewn from other conversations I have taken part in with friends recently. It’s a polyphonic transcript. So many voices mixing, trying to say and explain, while explaining themselves, alone, in the virtual murmur of these days:

— — lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this distance thing, as the theme of space is an obsession of mine. In my letter to M., I wrote: “Now the distance between my house and P.’s house (500 mt) is equal to the distance between my house and B.’s house (300 km). And the distance between B.’s house and my house is equal to the distance between my house and yours (1,218, 6 km – Saw it on Google). If everything is unreachable, then I become road and path, I become connection, I become home.” — — Hi, P.! Sorry about not writing to you in these months, but the preparation for the departure has been turbulent and now that I’ve arrived here, everything degenerates. I’m fine: luckily I was able to see the city and it’s beautiful, but now the situation is like in Italy. […] At first I had a moment of panic thinking about my family, then I told myself to resist and that going back to Italy now, besides being impossible, would be very risky. So I’m here and I try to do what I can from my dorm room 🙈  — — To me co/star today says: find a new toy — — Sometimes I would like to shoot an endless video of a city that tells itself. But cities, I think, only tell themselves in real life. And just think, these days, they’re so real, they’re actually real… Meanwhile, spring is here, in the air, a luminescent dust in the air and we don’t know what to do with it. But let’s leave it to the cities to breathe in. — — 

— — It’s a hard test I’m trying to face, all flavoured by this strange and new period for everyone. […] I wish I could come back to myself, but I always tend to lose my focus. When I’m submerged in music, while I’m trying to write something, I can feel a little better and I always feel like I’m in a different place: by the deserted sea at eight o’clock in the evening, in M.’s kitchen, in a greenhouse in Brussels, watching stuffed birds at the Specola museum in Florence, in a place where all the things I’ve lost in life have come together — — I feel like kissing someone so much — — I want to kickstart with you a little Covid night column, since I still haven’t chosen what to watch and porn is a no-no because I have my period […], tonight’s theme is: What are the failures of your life? You only need three, not to over-do it. — — Of course, the timing of this quarantine has obviously interrupted and set aside all those things, perhaps even unpleasant, that came up the last few times we spoke, huh? — — because this quarantine has put me in a state of hyper-sexuality — — A beautiful verse that’s been stuck in my skull ever since I read it and I can’t get out of my head. Why, you’ll say. I believe that by extracting a grammatical particle from the verse I can get to the sense of what I’m experiencing. In this gesture of appropriation I redact the “don’t”: And I asked to be / where the storms don’t arrive. 1— — THE NEIGHBOURS OFFERING TO MAKE TIGELLE FOR US AT EASTER SINCE WE’RE WITHOUT OUR FAMILIES, ARE REAL LIFE — — I’ve never been the shut-in type – or a loner – I start to feel the weight of loneliness, of the space around me, of the useless work-related stress, I feel lost in this day full of possibilities but empty — — Today the dentist wrote to me (very nice of him), studied my case and sent me a lot of articles to remind me that if my gums inflate like balloons it’s because my ovaries don’t work. I don’t have time to write a story today, so I have to write something here so I don’t forget. You have no idea how embarrassing and exhausting it is having to talk about my unevenly-shaped ovaries, every time a random part of my body gets inflamed, hurt, or decides to stop working. — — Losing something, however, also means gaining an understanding of this loss, of a certain absence, of an inflicted injustice. We should re-start from here. — —

1 – Verse by Gerard Manley Hopkins, from Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking, Knopf, 2005.


Text by: Pierpaolo Lippolis @pierpaololippolis 

Images courtesy of: Amanda Ballerini, Annalena Biotti, Cristina Ruggiero, Cristina Falsone, Giada Maestra, Giovanni Pacienza, Giuseppe Della Monica, Matteo Strocchia, Sofia Callegaro, Valentina Dentello