The cheers thundered on like a skyward clash of menacing black clouds. He walked down the aisle and the lauding grew wilder and ritualistic. He was big. Goliath. And he walked up the dais and waved to us, a seemingly dangerous actor in a bearded musical.
He did not speak.
Instead, I saw that in a devastating and almost unnoticeable silence, he cried. For love. Simple and equal. He wept for the world that would not listen. In a moment, he was washing a leper’s wasted stump in his tears. In the next, he lay on a distant deathbed, silenced by a disease called man. As the past flicked in black and white, with the trickle of a fellow’s blood in an unrecognizable dark tint that blended with the night, he fell with a broken heart in the same silence that was ringing in my ears now. No one noticed. No one knew, but him.
He was hugging the world in one big bear embrace and I couldn’t reason my silence in a crowd of murmurs.
He still waved and the tears were mistaken for sweat.
Dici che il fiume
Trova la via al mare
E come il fiume
Giungerai a me
Oltre i confini
E le terre assetate
Dici che come fiume
E non so più pregare
E nell'amore non so più sperare
E quell'amore non so più aspettare
You say that the river
Finds the way to the sea
And like the river
You will come to me
Beyond the borders
And the dry lands
You say that like a river
Like a river...
The love will come
And I don't know how to pray anymore
And in love I don't know how to hope anymore
And for that love I don't know how to wait anymore
I cried for the teetering globe as the aria stormed like an improvised heart melting gizmo. I wished for silence that flew in a rich sizzling meal-air that would draw me into a dreamless sleep and a muted morning-next. I wished that I was everyone. And everyone was me, in that warm silence.
But that was not to be. I was not the only one. The crowd grabbed and pulled to catch a glimpse of the man who loved them. I didn’t blame them. I knew they screamed for that same distant silence. Like issueless mothers. Like marooned broken armies. Like society-less eunuchs. Like ruler and pencil nation maps. Like thimbleless blind seamstresses and indecisive limbo civilians.
The next day, he died. So did a lot of people, of the same ailment; a condition called man.
For Luciano Pavarotti