Mr. President, I can't breathe
Here “Mr. President” is our Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte.
Okay, I get it, I'll go back inside. I look out the doorstep and close the door of the house. Walking with a face mask and breathing in all the carbon dioxide I produce? We don't really talk about it.
I'd gladly go out. No, not to take a walk, but to march on the path of revolution and protest. There is only a small problem in this regard. I am alone. All Italians, or at least the absolute majority, are with you, Mr. President. They want masks, little masks, huge masks and lockdowns, days at home in front of the hearth, or perhaps radiators they can't afford to turn on.
My God, Mr. President, I can't breathe. Perhaps, it is panic, an attack of the bad ones. I have anguish. I hate everyone. You not at them and they shut their mouths, choking on their breath of slaves.
Oh God, oh God, no, I can't. I get anxious. Why, why do I live in such a place, where everyone is loyal to the teacher? They beat you up in turn, like the head of the class, or a Kapo. Looking at these people, from the lockdown onwards, I understand how it was possible, in those fields located in Poland, that there were people willing to massacre their brothers in exchange for a less cold bed, for a bottle of vodka. Italians are worse. What a fearful people. If they had been there, they would also have paid for the ticket to Poland, traveling in disguise, so as not to deprive you of the satisfaction of dying by your hand and not because of a virus.
Can I tell you something? For some time I have been wondering how it is possible that we can bear all this. When I was reading Orwell's 1984 I thought it was all true, but with narrative exaggerations that required the suspension of disbelief. But no, reality is worse. We have every opportunity to acquire information that lays bare your lies, but we are still here to believe you, to hang from your absurd, baseless, blatantly far-fetched data.
There is this mask that should protect me as long as I am standing in the restaurant or bar, then becoming superfluous when I sit down. The mask! I dressed the same for four to five months. It has more bacteria on it than me if I didn't wash for six months. Still, everyone believes it. We obey you, Mr. President, as we have done with everyone for centuries. I am sure that, for my compatriots, with or without it is indifferent. When one has the vocation of a servant it is always like this: orders are not discussed, they are carried out.
The fact remains that I don't breathe. I choke. I feel like I'm dying and the truth is that I've been dying for decades because of the Italians and their Presidents, because of the bureaucracy. Crazy norms everywhere accepted without a blow, sighing or firmly asserting “that's the way it is”. A Being without Having to Be. A world is given to us, with rules of the game, and that we must respect and perpetrate. Oh my, my throat closes even more. I'm afraid of dying and at the same time I don't give a fuck, Mr. President. Do you want the truth? If I die, I have stopped suffering. To you and to the bureaucracy I will leave my corpse, the decomposition and the softness of the flesh that fails to itself.
You killed me morally, physically. The mask is yet another test that I absolutely did not need to ascertain with whom I am dealing with, with whom I live in close contact every day. I sincerely feel superior: I don't deserve his Italy and his Italians. Without sovereignty, identity and now also the possibility of using the air as they please. What will the next step be? Will it tax the air and then be able to sell it in sanitized cans?
Unfortunately, you have won, people are on your side and I am a crazed cell of the social body. I do not throw the gauntlet at her just because she has already defeated the opponents - the slaves have chosen the pharaoh. I stay at home, hoping not to live one more day in this dystopia for insane. I light a cigarette, hoping that the cancer will take me away before the curtailed air.
Original column by Matteo Fais:
Translation by Costantino Ceoldo