Trains

Et j’entends siffler le train

TreniTrains are windows where we can see running many different lives. You can decide to exclude yourself. Reading a journal, playing with your phone, hiding your eyes behind sunglasses. Don’t cross the glance of the others. But sometimes you can’t turn the head on the other side. Something inside refuse to think that’s normal.

Regional train between Ventimiglia and Nizza in a hot spring day of May. A train like many, with the characteristic smell of iron and piss. Crossing the border we arrive in Menton, first French city, in a borderless Europe. Police everywhere checking the train. They do their job you think, it will not take too long. They get nervous, they found something. No, they found someone. No they found many. People. Desperates. Emigrants. They were hiding in the interspace between two wagons, six of them. I could just see them from the back, head down, walking slowly.

The train move, next station: Montecarlo. In front of us a group of people, two men and two women. Beautiful, smiling, suntanned, fashion. They did shopping, they had bags of Gucci, Dior, Armani. It looked like an episode of “Sex & the City”, with the blonde woman around forty, crossing the legs and waving hair with studied movements.

You feel the contradiction and it hurts. You think that something is wrong. You feel hunger. Against Society? Governments? Emigrants? Police? Consumerism? And yet… it’s your turn, your station arrived, you go out of the train. The dirty glass of the train window reflected my face, the most hypocrite character of this situation: … the silent observer.

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