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Estratti / Excerpts
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Rodaan Al Galidi

L’AUTISTICO E IL PICCIONE VIAGGIATORE

DE AUTIST EN DE POSTDUIF
THE AUTIST AND THE HOMING PIGEON

ISBN 9788887847512

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Quando Geert compì quattro anni chiese a Janine di suo padre. Lei si alzò, si avvicinò a una cassettiera e tirò fuori una scatola mentre Geert studiava ogni sua mossa. Dalla scatola estrasse poi una cannuccia.
– Ecco tuo padre – disse Janine.
Geert non dubitò di essere uscito da una cannuccia visto il modo in cui sua madre l’aveva conservata e l’espressione sul suo viso quando aveva aperto la scatola. Osservò la cannuccia. Il suo cervello provò a immaginarsela con due mani e due piedi e una faccia con due occhi, due orecchie e una bocca, ma lui vedeva solo una cannuccia.
– Adesso lavati i denti e va’ a dormire – disse Janine.
Fatta la conoscenza di suo padre, Geert andò in bagno e si lavò i denti. Pensò molto alla cannuccia, tanto diversa dagli altri padri che venivano a prendere i figli a scuola. Poi si mise a letto e spense la luce. La cannuccia iniziò a crescere nei suoi pensieri fino a raggiungere l’altezza del maestro Matthijs. Le spuntarono la sua faccia e i suoi grandi piedi. Geert si concentrò per ricordarsi che scarpe portasse il maestro Matthijs e nella sua testa le infilò alla cannuccia. Sentì la cannuccia sussurrare con una vocina simile a un nastro che scorre troppo veloce.
– Buonanotte, Geert.
Nello stesso istante Geert si addormentò. Quella notte sognò di uscire dalla stazione dei treni con Janine e suo padre la cannuccia per visitare lo zoo. Tutti gli uomini del sogno erano cannucce che somigliavano al maestro Matthijs.

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Toen Geert vijf jaar oud werd, vroeg hij zijn moeder naar zijn vader. Janine stond op, liep naar een ladekastje en haalde er een doosje uit, terwijl Geert al haar handelingen nauwgezet volgde. Uit het doosje haalde ze het rietje.
‘Dit is jouw vader’, zei ze.
Geert twijfelde er niet aan dat hij uit een rietje kwam door de manier waarop zijn moeder het rietje bewaard had en de uitdrukking op haar gezicht toen ze het doosje opende. Geert keek naar het rietje. Zijn hersenen probeerden er twee handen en voeten bij te fantaseren en een gezicht met twee ogen, oren en een mond, maar hij zag alleen een rietje.
‘En nu tanden poetsen en naar bed’, zei Janine.
Na de kennismaking met zijn vader ging Geert naar de badkamer en poetste zijn tanden. In zijn hoofd was hij druk bezig met het rietje, dat anders was dan de vaders die hun kinderen van school haalden. Daarna ging hij in bed liggen en deed het licht uit. Het rietje begon in zijn gedachten te groeien tot het net zo lang was als meester Matthijs. Het kreeg zijn gezicht en dezelfde grote voeten. Geert dacht diep na tot hij weer wist welke schoenen meester Matthijs had en trok in zijn gedachten het rietje die schoenen aan. Hij hoorde het rietje fluisteren met een stemmetje dat klonk als een
cassettebandje dat te snel gaat.
‘Welterusten, Geert.’
Datzelfde moment viel hij in slaap. Hij droomde die nacht dat hij het station uit stapte met Janine en zijn vader het rietje om naar de dierentuin te gaan. Alle mannen in zijn droom waren rietjes die op meester Matthijs leken.

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When Geert turned five he asked his mother about his father. Janine got to her feet, walked over to the sideboard and took out a little box while Geert watched her every move. She produced a straw from the box.
‘This is your father’, she said.
Geert had no doubt that he had come from a straw, seeing the way his mother had preserved the straw and the expression on her face when she opened the box. Geert looked at the straw. His brain tried to imagine a pair of hands and feet, a face with two eyes, two ears and a mouth; but all he saw was a straw.
‘Now brush your teeth and off to bed’, said Janine.
Having made his father’s acquaintance, Geert went to the bathroom and brushed his teeth. The straw filled his head. It wasn’t the same as the fathers who collected their children from school. He then got into bed and switched out the light. The straw began to grow in his thoughts until it was the same height as his teacher Mr Matthijs. It acquired his face and his huge hands. Geert racked his brains until he remembered the shoes Mr Matthijs wore and in his thoughts he put them on the straw. He heard the straw whispering with a tiny voice that sounded like a cassette tape at high speed.
‘Good night, Geert.’
At that same moment he fell asleep. He dreamed that night about leaving the train station with Janine and his father the straw on their way to the zoo. All the men in his dream were straws that looked like Mr Matthijs.