The Woman I Saw Five Times

Some people appear before you, they fail to simply be where they happen to be, and she was one of them. She looked like a god the Vikings would cry out to before battle. Tall, huge, big arms, some of her blonde hair had escaped from her bun and dangled along wildly. She walked as if she held a massive battle hammer in her hands, eagerly looking for walls to smash. It was morning, there was a friendly sun in the sky and I had a day of sight seeing ahead of me. A nordic god was a promising start.

A bit later, I noticed her in the distance when I headed in a museum.

Lunch, (a more than delicious stew) and I saw her again, walking by, exactly the same pace, exactly the same look.

Three times. Now it meant something.

That goes back a long time. As a child I loved secrets and discoveries. My favourite possessions were: a microscope, a globe, and a flashlight that could flash different colors at different intervals. I examined samples, made codes, and at night the globe was my night lamp and source of dreams. I played a lot with Alfio, my friend. I don’t think we had anything in common; he loved to climb, build huts, and he was a bit reckless. I never climbed nor built and I was careful. But we effortlessly combined our interests to pure perfection. He would build huts, I would use them as a hide-out to spy on imaginary enemies and to sent coded messages from. He would climb in everything, disappear and come back to show me new creeks to examine. We made up stories about all our enemies: aliens and monsters (me), thieves and soldiers (him).

As things go, we lost touch; he changed schools, or moved, something, I don’t remember. I do remember I saw him once more when I was sixteen. It was the first time I experienced that sometimes things don’t change. The moment I saw him, I felt immediate happiness, uncomplicated and natural. He crossed his bike around me in a circle, trapped me and smiled, with the same bravura in his eyes.

Little things of our play linger in me, usually dormant, like one of the rules that if you see someone unknown three times, it is highly suspicious and probably one of the enemies (undercover – him, or taken a human form – me, for us to find out). I know it is nonsense, but part of me gets excited and alerted anyway.

After lunch, I visited a church and there she was. She startled me (she was now part of something bigger). And she noticed . You notice when people notice that you notice them. She was sensitive. I told myself to act normal; this was just a woman.

Last hour in the city, almost time to leave. I was looking for something and suddenly I stared her right in the face. She scared the hell out of me. All because of my own reasons and projections. At the same time I knew that my scaredness was something she would not interpret that way. Why she was so sensitive for other’s looking at her. She had only one eye. Scars and different skintone on the place of the other.

She looked sweet too.

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