#unasettimanamagica St Jeremy's angels
Wood cracked from rain and sun, insulating porcelain, black flocks of birds perched on wires. I count the telegraph poles and jump down from the train. Thirty-three poles . Thirty-three as the age of Christ.
I step down because St. Jeremy is a good place to spend the Christmas night. They say that you can hear the angels sing and the children put candles on the windowsill.
I cross the church square howling my song: Sister Death, Sister Death , why do not you take me back? I walk slowly , the rags are not enough to protect me from chilblains. Bad boys throw snowballs at me, bad boys are everywhere.
I see myself in the Keaton's window , while drooling on sausages hung in festoons , along with a black mongrel dog. I'm leaving and the mongrel follows me.
Sitting on a step, with my hat between my knees , I roll up a cigarette . Angels or no angels, before night falls, a dollar will drop in the greasy cap, I will pay a bed by lousy Reverend Gordon. Sister Rosy puts a dish covered with a towel next to the cap: "Jack, you’re still alive?”
"And you, you dirty whore? "
She goes away.
The hours pass, it starts to snow . A couple of coins fall in the cap. Christmas Eve charity, lousy charity.
From the windows I see women filling the turkey with chestnuts. I imagine biting into the crispy skin at the flickering light of a candle. The children cut paper stars, then look out of the window and put a lighted candle on the windowsill.
The bells jingle, the bells of Santa Claus’ sleigh. All doors are crowned with holly and sing hymns of joy.
All, but not the Mac Dowell door. It hasn’t a garland of red berries like the others, it talks to me through its black ribbon, its voice oiled. "The boy is dead," it says. I could go two houses ahead, where the light invites to party and you smell roast. Instead, I sit with my back against the Mac Dowell door.
A man and a woman pass. "Have you seen? ", they whisper , "Mary Mac Dowell has not removed the black ribbon yet. " They throw a coin in the hat, no one refuses a piece of bread on a night like this.
Now I have my dollar. Now I can go down to the mission, I have my dollar.
I linger, with my hands deep in the dog’s hair; I curl up against the Mac Dowell door. The bastard licks my feet, black like the ribbon.
The stairs are softened because the snow thickens. The dog's tongue is warm on my legs that I do not feel anymore down there at the bottom of the pants . The snow falls, cold and sweet.
Sister Death, Sister Death, why do not you take me back? It 's my singing voice .
Then it is no longer my voice.
The road has become dark or maybe I closed my eyes. I hear someone singing but it is not me, I swear .
The angels flutter in the flakes , they whirl in spirals of snow, snowmen riding ice. I watch them swirl in the crystals and touch the doors with wings drenched in snow. All doors, but especially the Mac Dowell door.
I'm not cold, I'm not afraid. Inside the house, Mrs. MacDowell does not cry anymore, I hear only the voice of the angels.
The angels of St. Jeremy singing.