That night I wanted to get pizza with two friends. One of them had found good reviews for a place in Baiano. As we drove and got lost (it would have taken us a long time to find the “pizzeria”) we noticed unusual intense traffic on the road that from Nola goes to Baiano, and from which you can take the highway to Avellino.
That’s it. That’s how close I got to the tragic bus accident that last Sunday killed 38 people who were returning home in Pozzuoli, Naples, after a weekend trip to Telese Terme.
But when the morning after I woke up, and my mother told me about it, the first thing that came to my mind was how close I had been to the accident.
Not because I could have been part of it. No. Probably because my life had gotten close to that event, so terrible, that every one was talking about now on tv.
I always had this fear. I have definitely dreamed about it a couple of times. Falling off a bridge, a cliff, a viaduct, in a car. If I am not mistaken, in these dreams I am usually falling with my dad.
And it feels like something suddenly disappears in your stomach. No tragic ending in my dreams, though. The vehicle keeps falling for a long time, but never crashes on the ground.
After what happened last Sunday, I don’t think I am going to have these dreams anymore. It feels as if this televised tragedy has penetrated the collective imagery to the point that it can no more be part of the stuff of which dreams are made.
Maybe this is really what we mourn the most, when something like this happens: the collapse of fantasy, the disappearance of certain events from the realm of the imagination.
One of the strongest moments in the airing of the tragedy on television, has been the first interview to one of the survivors on television, a woman.
Her account of the tragedy was related in a state of complete shock, which could also be very similar to the liminal state between wake and sleep.
I transformed it into a poem:
Everything was ok
until we got to that road
I don’t know where.
We had to leave the hotel
and so we went to Pietralcina
and we were going back home
when I heard somebody say
we have a flat tire
well, the driver will stop and change it
but it never stopped
and there were fires in the bus
it went faster and then we fell
me and my husband held
each other tight.
That’s the last thing I remember.