On the border
Pushing beyond the border, pushing beyond all limits. Titanism? Need. Breaking laws that are made for man, so as to be able to hope in a better future? Hardened criminals or heroes? A certain kind of smuggling also meant getting one’s own back, fighting off dire poverty. But life on the border also meant a taste for winning, for getting away with it, for challenging fate, for daring. Border country, the same territory, a net, different laws. Secretly combining fatigue and business, Latinity and Calvinism along the Italian-Swiss border overlooking Lake Como, from the post-war period to the 1970s. The voice of a spallone turns into history. Local history turns into legend.
… It’s now time to leave the wood, cover a few metres and throw ourselves once more onto the ground to wriggle under the wire netting, cover a stretch walking in the border police’s footsteps so as cover our traces and then – in leaps and bounds – rush downhill, beyond the border, towards the lakeshore lights. On my back as many as thirty kilos…
The loading of the cigarette boxes on a fisherman’s boat. The silence of the lake broken by the spluttering noise of the engine propeller and the pervasive smell of oil and petrol…
What I really love reminiscing about is this memory of when I was thirty and the struggle for life embraced the border, the woods, the mountain and the lake…