Poised on our bikes at the edge of a field, we tried hard to see the future in the semi-deserted parking lots of the Alfa Romeo car factory, cracked by the roots and the sun of too many summers. Surrounded by the hum of the road tumor, the beast of concrete and chimneys slept, necrotic, like the cement carcass of a prehistoric mammoth.I was almost ten and our fourth year of elementary school was coming to an end.
I said, just to break the thick silence that weighed on our four heads, “Maybe after the sale they will rehire your Dad.”
Peo raised an eyebrow and looked at Flavio, who sighed and uttered an unconvinced, “Yeah…maybe…” that seemed to come from a very distant planet.
The factory, once a bustling hive of activity, seemed to have run aground in a sea of empty parking lots claimed by shrubs and brambles.
Nico said, “It’s not the end of the world, you know? Jobs come and go. Maybe you’ll move to Sicily,” he joked with a hint of bitterness.
Somehow he had started hanging out with us more and more, at times almost forgetting to enact his tough kid part. I looked away from the forgotten parking lots, searching for comfort in the dark eyes of Peo, faithful, old friend. I found him already staring at me, the funeral gaze in his face reflecting my mood like a mirror.