Milan (Italy) Via Giovanni Battista Morgagni – near Via Ulisse Aldrovandi (map)
Sunday, 10 May2015
Sunday in Milan. On the banks of the park lonely hearts kill time. It’s the first hot day of the year. The poplars allow their sticky fuzz to drift through the streets of the city, and turn some flowerbeds into snow-spots. Even the dogs must sneeze now and then. In the shade of beige sun umbrellas, waiters carry thousands of ice-cold mineral water bottles to the tables of the guests – only outside an African restaurant does one feast in the sun, drink, chatter and accept the fact that sweat is running down one’s face and body.
The road divider of Via Morgagni is a longish park that’s structured like a game preserve. In the first enclosure dogs enjoy total freedom. In the second, retired folks have finished their communal lunch and are playing card games, flicking cards over their stained paper napkins – between the tables, their grandchildren are swirling around on little scooters. In the third enclosure, Boccia is being played: I know no other sport that is at once so gentle and so aggressive. A woman rolls her ball over the playground with a gentle swing – and the ball remains standing cheek-to-cheek with the Pallino. Seconds later, a distinctly older gentleman hobbles over to the throwing line and blasts the young pair apart with a neat throw. The senior’s pleasure is easy to understand. But how can the woman just smile? Sunday in Milan. Some kill time; others grin their feelings down into the grave. Or, does the lady build on the assumption that the old man is already rather wobbly on his feet?
First Publication: 20-6-2015