Ulysses (a monologue)

Blood. It’s all over. My fingers are sticky with it, I guess if I wanted to move them it won’t be easy to lose the grip on my sword: hand and handle are stuck together. So much blood. Not mine, not all of it, anyway. I feel an unpleasant itchy in my thigh, let’s see. Yes, that small river of blood it’s mine. Perhaps Agelaus wounded me, he was the bravest of them all. I’m almost forty-three, and I have undone so many[1]. Not even twenty warriors together, in all their lifetime, have slain so many people as me. Hades is waiting for me, to offer me an eternal hopeless nightmare. Yes, my hands have undone so many, but my brains many more. Screams have stopped, Thelemacus has followed my instructions. I’ve asked him to let me alone here for a moment. My old wet nurse will call when the bath is ready. Penelope can’t see me like this. Penelope. I’ve been with other women, trying desperately to find out if any of them had an embrace as tender as hers. No one had. Why did you ever put your eyes on me, Penelope? I have made you miserable, you will never be happy with me because I will never be with you, even if I am by your side. This is my curse. Our curse: yours to wait for me, mine to long for you. I will long for you even tomorrow morning when I will wake up with you in my arms. And you will wait for me again, when I will leave you once more. I know I will, that with time, maybe one year, maybe ten, I will climb up to the highest hill in our small island and watch the sea, and wonder what will be in the other side waiting for me. I will go, and I will never come back. And I will remember you as I have seen you yesterday night. When I was disguised by my goddess as an old beggar and you came to talk to me. “Tell me about my husband, stranger”. Your husband should never have been born at all.

  [1]  dietro le venìa sì lunga tratta di gente, ch’i’ non averei creduto che morte tanta n’avesse disfatta.

A line, so long, that I would never had believed death had undone so many

Dante’s Inferno

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